Certain Louisiana cancer rates are higher than the national averages. This review evaluates the existing epidemiologic literature pertaining to risk factors for cancer in Louisiana. Population-based case-control studies have identified smoking as the most important contributor to lung cancer in Louisiana. Nutritional factors have been found to impart a modest increase in lung, pancreas, and stomach cancer risk. Occupational epidemiologic studies have revealed exposure to asbestos in the cement, shipbuilding, and related industries as a significant risk factor for mesothelioma and lung cancer. Sugarcane farming has been found to increase the risk of lung cancer among sugarcane farmers who smoke, and the risk of mesothelioma among sugarcane farmers in general. Occupations with exposure to microwave and radio frequency electromagnetic radiation have been associated with an increased risk of brain cancer. An increased risk of laryngeal cancer has been observed among workers exposed to sulfuric acid at a Baton Rouge isopropyl alcohol plant. Except for the laryngeal cancer finding, data from occupational cohort studies of refinery/chemical workers revealed no significant excess in cancer of all sites, cancer of the lung, or any other cancer. Relevant epidemiologic data also revealed no increased cancer risk associated with potential exposures to industrial emissions among residents in communities adjacent to petrochemical facilities.