Text Alternative for Prevention Studies for a Cancer-Free Tomorrow

American Cancer Society // Infographics

The American Cancer Society conducts long-term studies that play a major role in helping us better understand how to prevent cancer. These studies have shown how lifestyle, medical, and genetic factors relate to cancer and other diseases, and have contributed to the 25% drop in cancer death rates since 1991.

How Do We Conduct Cancer Prevention Studies?

Our cancer prevention studies involve large groups of cancer-free people who provide lifestyle, medical and behavioral information that is collected and surveyed over time, to discover potentially lifesaving learning about cancer prevention.

What are Some Discoveries from Previous Studies?

  • Confirmed link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer
  • Lung cancer death rates are higher among non-smoking spouses of smokers
  • Obesity leads to higher death rates from all causes
  • Obesity is associated with higher death rates for at least 10 different cancers
  • A diet rich in fruits and vegetables lowers risks of colon cancer death
  • Consumption of red and processed meat increases colorectal cancer risk
  • Physical activity lowers risk of various cancers (including breast, colon, and prostate cancer)
  • People with type II diabetes are at a greater risk of dying from many types of cancer, including pancreatic and colon cancer
  • Alcohol consumption is associated with increased risk of breast, pancreatic, and other cancers
  • Longer time spent sitting is associated with a higher risk of premature death
  • Air pollution increases death rates from heart and lung conditions

Who has Participated in Previous Studies?

Previous studies were established through recruitment of 2.2 million men and women by 145,000 volunteers in 50 states and Puerto Rico. 57% of the study participants were women and 43% were men. 95% of the participants were non-Hispanic whites, 3% were African American and 2% were other ethnicities. The median entry age of the study participant was 55.

What's Next for CPS-II and CPS-3?

Cancer Risk & Prevention

Collection of tumor tissue specimens will allow us to identify risk factors for specific molecular subtypes of colorectal, prostate, hematologic, ovarian, and breast cancers (for example, estrogen receptor positive breast cancer), leading to development of better targets for prevention.

Aging U.S. Population

We will leverage the large size, long-term follow-up, and older age of CPS-II participants to study factors associated specifically with cancer risk and with longevity in the elderly survivorship guidelines.

Many Younger Participants

The large number of younger participants in CPS-3 will allow us to study predictors of early onset cancers, such as premenopausal breast cancer.

Lifestyle & Cancer

Utilizing the participant biospecimens, we will study the interplay between lifestyle and genetic factors in relation to cancer risk and survival.

Obesity & Cancer

Study the evolving role of diet, physical activity, ageing, and the environment on changes in overweight and obesity to better inform cancer prevention programs.

Smoking & Cancer

Investigate how e-cigarette use may influence the smoking of regular cigarettes.

More Survivors Than Ever

We will use the information collected both before and after a cancer diagnosis to study factors associated with cancer survivorship and to inform cancer survivorship guidelines.


When you support the American Cancer Society, you join millions of others who are committed to saving lives and celebrating lives in your community and around the world. Thank you for supporting these lifesaving efforts that get us closer to a world free from the pain and suffering of cancer.

Learn More // cancer.org/cps3
Explore Research // cancer.org/research
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