A multisite case-control study on factor analysis and several cancer sites (mouth and pharynx, esophagus, stomach, colon, rectum, larynx, lung, breast, prostate, bladder, kidney) was conducted in Uruguay. The study included 3,528 cases and 2,532 controls. Factor analysis (principal components) was modeled among controls. This patterning method retained 4 factors per sex, labeled as prudent, drinker, traditional and Western. Odds ratios for these cancer sites, stratified by sex, were estimated using polytomous regression. Whereas the prudent pattern was mainly negatively associated with cancers of the upper aerodigestive tract, the Western pattern showed a strong increase in breast, lung and colon cancers. The study allowed for the reproducibility of the prudent, drinker and Western patterns, whereas the traditional pattern appears to be country specific.