The roles of nitric oxide (NO) in numerous disease states have generated considerable discussion over the past several years. NO has been labeled as the causative agent in different pathophysiological mechanisms, yet appears to protect against various chemical species such as those generated under oxidative stress. Similarly, NO appears to exert a dichotomy of effects within the multistage model of cancer. Chronic inflammation can lead to the production of chemical intermediates, among them NO, which in turn can mediate damage to DNA. Yet, NO also appears to be critical for the tumoricidal activity of the immune system. Furthermore, NO can also have a multitude of effects on other aspects of tumor biology, including angiogenesis and metastasis. This report will discuss how the chemistry of NO may impact the initiation and progression stages of cancer.