Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) plays an indispensable role in cancer prevention and treatment. Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) is a key component of TCM and has been practiced for thousands of years. A number of naturally occurring products from Chinese herbs extracts exhibit strong inhibitory properties against carcinogenesis, including CHM single-herb extracts, CHM-derived active components, and CHM formulas (the polyherbal combinations), which regulate JAK/STAT, MAPK, and NF-ҡB pathways. The present review aims to report the cancer-preventive effect of CHM with evidence from cell-line, animal, epidemiological, and clinical experiments. We also present several issues that have yet to be resolved. In the future, cancer prevention by CHM will face unprecedented opportunities and challenges.
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