During the past 150 years, we have witnessed many remarkable advances against cancer, a disease known to humanity for thousands of years. The advances highlighted below represent a sampling of what has been accomplished to date. Although we still have a long way to go to reduce the toll of cancer in the United States and worldwide, our research and public health efforts are beginning to pay dividends. Since the early 1990s, we have witnessed a sustained decline in the rate of cancer deaths in the United States. We must now redouble our efforts to ensure continued progress and, hopefully, to accelerate the pace of our advances.