Cancer and the Environment

Priorities for Research, Policy, and Clinical Practice

This site contains materials from the Cancer and Environment Symposium that took place in Pittsburgh on Tuesday, January 29th, 2019

About the Symposium

Millions of lives have been spared the burden of cancer by translating knowledge about risk factors — such as tobacco — into prevention solutions. Yet the incidence of lung cancer in people who have never smoked is increasing. Rates of childhood cancer are going up. Women are experiencing breast cancer at younger ages. Environmental carcinogens put into air, water, food, products and workplaces play a role, yet they are often overlooked in research, policy and clinical and public health practice. The purpose of this symposium was to elevate attention to environmental carcinogens in Southwestern Pennsylvania, in the context of comprehensive cancer prevention, drawing on knowledge and lived experience of people within and outside the region. The objectives were to:

  • learn from leading researchers about the most recent science on the environmental contributors to cancer, and patterns of disease;
  • join scientists, health professionals and community leaders in identifying the most promising steps for limiting environmental carcinogens in Southwestern PA, and for integrating environmental carcinogen reduction more comprehensively into cancer prevention and control;
  • build relationships across organizations that have a role to play in advancing the primary prevention of cancer.