This article reviews the experimental data that points to formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and oxidative DNA base damage as being important contributors to cancer development. Particular emphasis is placed on the role they play in genetic changes occurring during tumor promotion. A number of structurally different anticarcinogenic agents inhibit ROS production and oxidative DNA damage as they inhibit inflammation and tumor promotion. This underlines the importance of ROS and oxidative genetic damage to the carcinogenic process. It also points to the possibility that some types of cancer may be preventable if the cycles of tumor promotion can be interrupted.