In a review article, Claudine Kavanaugh, Ph.D., of the FDA in College Park, Md., and colleagues describe the agency’s November 2005 evaluation of the scientific evidence linking tomatoes or tomato-based foods, lycopene, and reduced cancer risk.
Their review found no evidence that tomatoes reduced the risk of lung, colorectal, breast, cervical, or endometrial cancer. However, there was very limited evidence for associations between tomato consumption and reduced risk of prostate, ovarian, gastric, and pancreatic cancers. Based on this assessment, the FDA decided to allow qualified health claims for a very limited association between tomatoes and these four cancers. Their analysis found no credible evidence that lycopene, either in food or in a dietary supplement, was associated with reduced risk of any of the cancers evaluated
I will keep eating tomatoes picked directly from our small garden. I'll eat them because they are good, no great, from the garden. Tomatoes aren't bad for you, at least. We just don't know if they prevent certain types of cancer. Don't despair. There really aren't enough studies that have been done to say that lycopene isn't helpful. Just don't bet you health on it.