Improving cancer prevention is part of the mission of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). Cancer Prevention and risk-reduction strategies can greatly lower the physical, emotional, and financial burden of cancer and improve the overall health of cancer survivors, including lowering the risk of the cancer coming back or the formation of a second cancer.
Although the risk of developing cancer can be greatly reduced by avoiding risk factors, not all cancers are preventable. Review Cancer.Net's Cancer Types sections for more information about preventing specific types of cancer.
The information in this section is adapted from the ASCO Curriculum, Cancer Prevention, an education resource developed by ASCO for doctors and other health care professionals who treat people with cancer.
A risk factor is anything that increases a person's chance of developing a disease, such as cancer. This section provides an overview of risk factors.
Many people may want to know their individual risk of being diagnosed with cancer. Statistics are used to determine the risk of cancer for groups of people and are often helpful to estimate your risk of cancer based on individual aspects that are similar to the groups at risk. However, statistics cannot tell you if you will develop cancer.
Find information about the goals and limitations of cancer screening and common screening tests.
Find information on how chemoprevention can slow the development of cancer.
Learn about the role of diet and nutrition in the prevention of cancer during and after treatment
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a virus that is usually passed on during direct skin-to-skin contact, most commonly sex. In fact, HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States. There are more than 150 different types of HPV. Most men and women are not aware they have an HPV infection because they do not develop any symptoms or health problems. Sometimes, specific HPV types can cause warts (noncancerous, abnormal growths on the skin) in various parts of the body. Other times, certain HPV types can cause precancerous lesions (areas of abnormal tissue) or cancer.
Learn how physical activity can prevent cancer and get physical activity recommendations for good health.
The warmer weather of summer often means more time spent outdoors in the sun. During the summer—and throughout the year—remember the importance of limiting sun exposure to prevent skin cancer. Although skin cancer is the most common of all cancers, most types of skin cancer can be prevented by reducing exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight.
Learn how not smoking and quitting smoking prevents cancer and improves the results of cancer treatment.
Find information on why maintaining a healthy weight is important for cancer prevention and recovery from cancer.
Find additional information about cancer prevention.