More than six million people die of cancer every year. Over the next two decades, the World Health Organization predicts global cancer rates will rise to 10 million deaths annually. What is the impact of the global political and economic processes of environmental change on cancer rates? Why, given the strong intuitive reasons to worry about the carcinogenic effects of global environmental change, is there so little research on this topic? What is the political role of science, corporations, nongovernmental organizations and international institutions on cancer research and cancer rates? What is the impact of global patterns of trade, financing, production and consumption on research and rates? This article charts the current social science literature on cancer and global environmental change with the hope of encouraging scholars of global environmental politics to pursue a new research agenda around questions like these.