Cancer is one of the major physical, social, and economic burdens and public health threats worldwide. Citizens everywhere face the challenge of dealing with the costs and devastation of this dreadful disease regardless of country of residence. In October 2009, a joint China - U.S. forum focusing on cancer prevention was held in Changsha, China. The goal of this timely joint conference was to provide a forum for the exchange of the most recent and relevant information on cancer control, translational cancer prevention research, and clinical trials in China and the United States. The scientifically driven symposium comprised didactic sessions that included discussions focused on identifying and validating effective chemopreventive agents and their molecular and cellular targets. A major highlight of the meeting was the participation of Chinese and American experts from Xiangya Medical School, Central South University and the Center for Health Policy and Management (China), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH, United States), who provided a unique insight into each country's public efforts and progress in cancer prevention. Participants clearly agreed that our current understanding of the manyfactors influencing cancer causation indicates that as much as two thirds or more of human cancers can be prevented. This perspective presents an overview of the progress being made in cancer prevention in China and the United States.