Variations and time trends in cancer incidence among and within populations suggest that many kinds of environmental factors contribute to the development of cancer.
Evidence-based primary or secondary cancer prevention builds on the identification and evaluation of environmental causes of cancer (including chemicals, complex mixtures, physical agents, biological agents, occupational exposures, and personal habits), as well as of cancer-preventive agents and interventions (including chemopreventive agents, personal interventions, cancer screening, and tobacco control measures).
Scientists worldwide conduct epidemiological studies, cancer bioassays, and a wide variety of molecular and mechanistic studies to identify specific causes of cancer, to understand the mechanisms by which cancer develops, and to determine which interventions can prevent cancer. As this evidence accumulates, there is a need to systematically review and evaluate the data to establish links between exposure and increased risks of cancer, and between interventions and reduced risks of cancer.
Scientific advice that is both authoritative and trusted can help governmental agencies and individuals to understand complex scientific information and to use it to protect the public from suspected hazards to human health and to reduce the global burden of cancer.