Text Alternative for Prevention Studies for a Cancer-free Tomorrow

The American Cancer Society conducts long-term studies that play a major role in helping us better understand the causes of cancer and how to prevent the disease. These studies have shown how lifestyle, medical, environmental, and genetic factors relate to cancer and other diseases, and have contributed to the 26% drop in cancer death rates between 1991 and 2015.

How Do We Conduct Cancer Prevention Studies?

We deliver lifesaving research by collecting biospecimens and survey data from large groups of cancer-free people and monitoring their health status over time.

What Are Some of Our Studies’ Findings and Their Impact?

The Surgeon General’s landmark 1964 conclusion that smoking causes lung cancer was based in part on our early studies linking smoking with lung cancer and higher overall death rates. Since then, adult smoking rates have declined from over 40% to less than 20% today.

Cancer Prevention Study-I (CPS-I) revealed the first epidemiologic evidence that obesity increases the risk of premature death, and CPS-II established the link between obesity and death from breast, colorectal, and other cancers.

CPS-II was the first prospective study to find a link between regular aspirin use and lower risk of colorectal cancer, opening the door to more research on aspirin and the risk of other cancers.

Diet & Exercise
Our studies have revealed that high red and processed meat and alcohol intake, low physical activity, and longer sitting time increase the risk of cancers and premature mortality.

CPS-II data and biospecimens have been included in the identification or validation of nearly every genetic variant known to date that has been confirmed to be associated with an increased risk of breast, prostate, and pancreatic cancer. This work has led to a better understanding of family history of these cancers.

Who Has Participated in Our Studies?

  • In the Hammond-Horn study from 1952 to 1955, 188,000 participants and 22,000 volunteers between the ages of 50 and 69 took part.
  • In the CPS-I study from 1959 to 1972, 1,000,000 participants and 68,000 volunteers between the ages of 30 and 109 took part.
  • In the CPS-II study from 1982 to the present, 1,200,000 participants and 77,000 volunteers between the ages of 30 and 111 have taken part.
  • In the CPS-3 study from 2006 to the present, 304,000 participants and 30,000 volunteers between the ages of 30 and 65 have taken part.

What’s Next for The Cancer Prevention Studies?

Tissue Specimens
The 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 the development of better targets for prevention.

Obesity & Cancer
We will study the evolving role of diet, physical activity, aging, and the environment on changes in overweight and obesity to better inform cancer prevention programs.

Smoking & Cancer
We will investigate how e-cigarette use may influence the smoking of regular cigarettes.

Cancer in the Elderly
We will leverage the large number of participants, 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.

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.

Fighting Cancer on All Fronts

The American Cancer Society is an organization of 1.5 million strong. Our mission is to save lives, celebrate lives, and lead the fight for a world without cancer.

Learn More: cancer.org/cps
Explore Research: cancer.org/research
Donate: cancer.org/donate

©2018 American Cancer Society, Inc. All rights reserved. The American Cancer Society is a qualified 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization and donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. No. 013094 Rev. 8/18