The almost 40-year records of The Framingham Heart Study (FHS) cohort were reviewed to establish the cancer experience of this noninstitutionalized group of white subjects. Diagnoses were confirmed from pathology and laboratory reports and clinical notes. Age-specific incidence rates were compared with Connecticut Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) data. Among the 5209 subjects, 1201 malignancies were confirmed. Median age at diagnosis was 69 for men and 65 for women. Lung, prostate, skin, and colon accounted for more than half of men's cancers; breast, colon, and skin made up half of the women's. FHS and Connecticut SEER rates matched closely, with the same primary tumor sites appearing commonly in both groups. Thus, the FHS cohort should provide a fair database for analysis of risk factors in cancer incidence, as it has done in cardiovascular diseases.