Since their start in the 1950s, the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Prevention Studies (CPS) have advanced the scientific community’s understanding about the causes of cancer. The insight we’ve gained from more than 2.7 million participants has informed cancer prevention and control programs, policies, and guidelines.
Our work, and the research it inspires and supports, is moving us closer to a day when cancer is preventable.
Our Cancer Prevention Studies are prospective cohort studies, meaning we recruit and collect data from a large group of people who are all cancer free at the start. We continue to collect data for many years, with participants responding to surveys and requests to send us small biological samples, to try to understand why and how certain people develop cancer while others remain cancer free.
Surveys. Every few years, we send surveys to participants, asking questions about their cancer status, as well as about factors and behaviors that may help prevent, or increase the risk of, developing cancer—such as their weight, diet, physical activity, and more.
Biological samples. The biospecimens that participants provide, such as a blood sample or a buccal swab to collect cells from the inside of the cheek, allow for research aimed at better understanding the role of genetics in the risk, development, and survival of cancer.
Published studies. Since these studies began, we have published more than 750 scientific articles that have furthered the science community’s understanding of cancer and its risk factors. Our findings have significantly contributed to tobacco-related research and to the understanding of obesity, diet, physical activity, hormone use, air pollution, and other factors in relation to cancer and other diseases.
We will continue to use data collected from CPS study participants both before and after a cancer diagnosis to study factors associated with cancer survivorship. Learn more about how Cancer Prevention Studies Save Lives.
Since the 1950s, the American Cancer Society has conducted long-term studies that have played a major role in helping researchers better understand, prevent, and treat cancer. The findings from previous studies include confirming the link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer, the impact of having overweight or obesity on risk of cancer occurrence and death, and much more.
This infographic highlights some of the contributions and processes of the ACS cancer prevention studies, as well as what we hope to learn from the Society’s current long-term studies and beyond
We thank the millions of people who have participated in one of the CPS cohorts, and who participate today. With your help, we continue to move closer to a world without cancer.
In December 2013, the ACS completed recruitment of participants for our newest study, CPS-3. We enrolled over 300,000 men and women in the United States and Puerto Rico between the ages of 30 and 65, and we'll follow them for the next 30 years.
Because of our committed research volunteers, we are able to collect survey, biospecimen, biometric, and other data to better understand how lifestyle, medical, environmental, genetic, and other factors affect the risk for and prevention of cancer.
Consisting of 1.2 million men and women from across the United States, this prospective mortality cohort began in 1982 and will end in 2022 – providing 40 years of follow up.
A subset of 184,000 of these participants later enrolled in the CPS-II Nutrition Cohort, which was launched in 1992. With this cohort, we started our collection of more detailed and updated information on diet and other exposures.
By responding to surveys every 2 years, CPS-II Nutrition participants allowed us to identify the associations of nutrition with cancer incidence as well as cancer mortality.
The ACS launched the Hammond-Horn Study in 1952 to examine the association of cigarette smoking with death rates from cancer and other diseases. This study demonstrated our ability to conduct very large prospective cohort studies and paved the way for subsequent Cancer Prevention Studies: CPS-1, CPS-II, and CPS-3.