Advancing Public Health in Cancer

Cancer has been recognized as a major public health problem in the United States for nearly a century. Today, despite the steady decline in cancer mortality observed over the past two decades, it is the leading cause of death from disease among Americans under the age of 85. By 2020, it is projected to be the number one cause of death from disease among all age groups. However, many cancers and cancer deaths can be avoided by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and receiving recommended cancer screenings and preventive vaccinations.

NCI supports research focused on improving the delivery of cancer care and designing interventions at the individual and population levels to improve cancer prevention, screening, treatment, and survivorship. Some areas of opportunity include improving the quality of life of cancer survivors; understanding how body weight and physical activity influence cancer risk and outcomes; further reducing tobacco use; and delivering high-quality cancer prevention, screening, and treatment to all regions of the country.