Autophagy is a self-digestion process, wrapping cytoplasmic proteins or organelles to form vesicles fordegradation in lysosomes. The process plays an important role in the maintenance of intracellular homostasis. Herewe overview articles on autophagy and cancer/tumors in Pubmed and found 327 articles. Autophagy exists in manytumors and is involved in cell malignant transformation and tumor cell growth. In early phases of tumorigenesis,autophagy clears the abnormally folded proteins and dysfunctional organelles such as mitochondria. Autophagycan also inhibit cell stress responses and prevent genetic damage. When a tumor develops, autophagy helpstumor cells survive nutritional deficiencies and hypoxic conditions. Studies of autophagy in the occurrence andprogression of tumors should provide new therapeutic strategies for tumors.