From the Executive Summary “Despite overall decreases in incidence and mortality, cancer continues to shatter and steal the lives of Americans. Approximately 41 percent of Americans will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives, and about 21 percent will die from cancer. The incidence of some cancers, including some most common among children, is increasing for unexplained reasons.” 

Public and governmental awareness of environmental influences on cancer risk and other health issues has increased substantially in recent years as scientific and health care communities, policymakers, and individuals strive to understand and ameliorate the causes and toll of human disease. A growing body of research documents myriad established and suspected environmental factors linked to genetic, immune, and endocrine dysfunction that can lead to cancer and other diseases. 

Between September 2008 and January 2009, the President’s Cancer Panel convened four meetings to assess the state of environmental cancer research, policy, and programs addressing known and potential effects of environmental exposures on cancer. The Panel received testimony from 45 invited experts from academia, government, industry, the environmental and cancer advocacy communities, and the public. 

The report summarizes the Panel’s findings and conclusions based on the testimony received and additional information gathering. The Panel’s recommendations delineate concrete actions that governments; industry; the research, health care, and advocacy communities; and individuals can take to reduce cancer risk related to environmental contaminants, excess radiation, and other harmful exposures. 

The report summarizes hazard sources from: 

  • Industrial and manufacturing activities
  • Agricultural practices
  • Modern lifestyles
  • Medical sources
  • Military activities
  • Natural resources.

Actions include: 

  • Increased funding for cancer research on environmental causes of cancer,
  • Improved methods to measure, assess and classify cancer causing chemicals,
  • Move towards a more precautionary approach rather than a reactionary approach.

A download of the report can be found on the National Cancer Institute website HERE