ScienceDirect.com - Journal of Adolescent Health - Cancer Prevention for the Next Generation
- Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia
- Available online 19 April 2013
Given the continued growth in the number of persons with cancer in the United States, the primary prevention of cancer remains an urgent public health priority. As the field of cancer prevention continues to mature and scientific knowledge evolves, it is imperative to challenge the status quo and embrace new approaches to cancer prevention. In this commentary, we summarize recent trends and some of the scientific advances that have been made over the past few decades regarding the complex process of cancer development and the interaction of individual and social risk factors. We examine some of the assumptions and terminology that have characterized cancer prevention approaches for more than a quarter century and the impact of these assumptions and our use of terminology. We propose that it is possible for today's youth to experience lower cancer incidence rates as adults compared with previous generations. To accomplish this goal, a more transdisciplinary and multifaceted approach is needed, adapted as appropriate for different populations and stages of life. The greatest improvements in cancer prevention may occur as a result of innovative, multilevel interventions that build on the expanding scientific evidence base.