Inflammation acts as a double-edged sword in the pathogenesis of cancer. Inflammatory responses play a key role in eliminating potentially cancerous cells; however, an inflammatory microenvironment also promotes the development of cancer. Proinflammatory cytokines, the key mediators of inflammation, also play a dual role in oncogenesis. While they can promote neoplastic progression, recent studies have revealed an unexpected function of the inflammatory pathways in inhibiting cancer development. These studies demonstrate that cells undergoing senescence, a cellular program serving as a barrier to cancer development, produce increased amount of inflammatory cytokines. These inflammatory cytokines play an essential role in the initiation and maintenance of cellular senescence, and are responsible for triggering an innate immune response that clears the senescent tumor cells in vivo. The purpose of the present review is to discuss the dual roles of the inflammatory cytokines produced by senescent cells in the pathogenesis of cancer, and the signaling pathway mediating their role in cellular senescence.