Primary prevention of cancer

Michael J. Thun, Martha S. Linet, James R Cerhan, Christopher Haiman, David Schottenfeld

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Primary prevention has enormous potential to reduce the human, social, and economic costs of cancer worldwide. The following sections discuss the development and application of preventive interventions in six broad areas of public health: tobacco control, the prevention of obesity and physical inactivity, prevention of infection-related cancers, protection against excessive exposure to ultraviolet light, preventive drug therapies (chemoprevention), and the regulation of carcinogenic exposures. All of these areas affect multiple types of cancer and massive numbers of people. Different interventions are at varying stages of development. For example, effective, evidence-based approaches have been developed over several decades to reduce tobacco use, prevent chronic infection with hepatitis B virus, protect children from excessive sun exposure, regulate exposures in high-income countries, and reduce breast cancer incidence and recurrence in high-risk women. More recent efforts are seeking to identify upstream measures to prevent excessive weight gain, reduce caloric intake, and increase physical activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSchottenfeld and Fraumeni Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention, Fourth Edition
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages2
ISBN (Electronic)9780190238667
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Cancer
  • Chemoprevention
  • Hepatitis B
  • Obesity
  • Public health
  • Tobacco
  • Ultraviolet light

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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