The first step in cancer prevention is to identify the causes of human cancer, and what works in cancer prevention. In accordance with one of its fundamental missions, the Agency prepares and distributes authoritative information on the causes and prevention of cancer throughout the world.
The principles, procedures, and scientific criteria that guide the evaluations are described in the Preambles to the IARC Handbooks of Cancer Prevention (Primary Prevention, Secondary Prevention). Interdisciplinary working groups of expert scientists review the published studies and evaluate the weight of the evidence that an agent or activity can act as cancer-preventive.
Agents and activities evaluated include chemopreventive agents, preventive actions, cancer screening, and tobacco control.
Funding sources for the IARC Handbooks of Cancer Prevention have included: