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Cancer data, Partnerships and Evidence-based Programs

Content on this page is provided for reference purposes only. It is no longer maintained and may now be outdated.

In 1971, President Nixon signed the National Cancer Act, engendering new and improved efforts in cancer prevention, research, and treatment.  Cancer became a reportable disease and the exigency for cancer knowledge and data elicited the development of the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI’s) cancer surveillance program, SEER, and later the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) NPCR. Over the years, cancer data have guided the development of evidence-based programs and practices, and collaboration and partnerships among researchers and cancer control planners became a salient feature towards the eradication of cancer.


Cancer rates have been on a downward trend for more than two decades now, indicating progress. The recently released Annual Report to the Nation has shown a 15% decline in cancer mortality for both men and women combined in the last decade, or a 1.5% decline a year. A large part of the decline can be attributed to success in prevention and early detection as well as effective treatment.  Cancer surveillance data elicit action from cancer control and research professionals to set priorities and target interventions for high-risk populations.  We at NCI support the cancer control efforts at the state and local levels and partner with national cancer organizations to provide leadership and guidance.


In 2003, leadership forums led by NCI and CDC were assembled to assist states, tribes, territories, and the Pacific Island jurisdictions to develop and implement evidence-based cancer plans and programs.  Feedback from the forums indicated that state cancer control practitioners needed access to local data and evidence-based resources. As a result, NCI’s Cancer Control P.L.A.N.E.T. (P.L.A.N.E.T.) web portal was developed, which allowed for cancer control professionals to obtain evidence-based resources to assist them with designing, implementing, and evaluating their cancer control plans and programs. 


This 13th year anniversary of P.L.A.N.E.T. marks a significant transformation and renewal of efforts in continuing the war on cancer. HPV vaccination uptake, which has been shown significantly to prevent cervical cancer, was recently added as a topic – one of 12 topic areas now on the website. The State Cancer Profiles resource has updated data on smoking laws and localized data on mammography and colorectal and cervical screening based on statistical modeling. Research to Reality has a redesigned website and continues to foster collaboration between cancer control researchers and practitioners as they engage colleagues and share experiences on moving evidence-based programs into practice. The year also saw 12 additional evidence-based programs on the Research-tested Intervention Programs (RTIPs) website across different cancer topic areas.  P.L.A.N.E.T. also pulls in the cancer-related recommendations of the US Preventive Services Task Force and the Community Preventive Services Task Force based on rigorous scientific reviews of the evidence.  New and updated recommendations have included breast cancer screening and counseling on healthy diet, physical activity, and tobacco use. 


The P.L.A.N.E.T. website is a comprehensive resource that guides state and local cancer efforts.  It presents rich data, fosters relationships with scientific experts, provides systematic and scientific reviews of the evidence, and offers a plethora of evidence-based interventions to support cancer control efforts.  We celebrate another year of enhancements and invite you to share your thoughts!


Dr. Percy-Laurry provides an

Dr. Percy-Laurry provides an excellent overview of the history of Cancer Control P.L.A.N.E.T., and the value of this resource for cancer control practitioners. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Comprehensive Cancer Control Program (NCCCP) has a longstanding, collaborative partnership with NCI. We continue to have a vested interest in P.L.A.N.E.T., which formed as a joint project between us, the NCI, the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (AHRQ), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Commission on Cancer, and the American Cancer Society. NCCCP grantees in state, tribal, territorial, and Pacific Island jurisdictional health departments are funded by CDC to develop cancer control plans in conjunction with stakeholders in the cancer community. Cancer plan development is driven by use of local data on the cancer burden and the priorities and needs of each program’s population.
Many health departments do not have the staff, capacity or resources to develop novel, home-grown interventions to address a high burden cancer or an emerging public health problem. Resources provided on P.L.A.N.E.T., such as the Research-Tested Intervention Programs (RTIPS), Research to Reality (R2R), and CDC’s Community Guide, are readily accessible to NCCCP grantees and easy to obtain from this single website. Additionally, P.L.A.N.E.T. is linked to State Cancer Profiles, which provides data for local cancer control practitioners. The mapping capabilities on State Cancer Profiles allow practitioners to visualize geographic pockets within their state that have higher cancer incidence or death rates, or represent high risk areas due to low screening levels or high prevalence of tobacco use or other cancer risk factors. These data allow NCCCP grantees and local cancer control practitioners to target interventions to populations most in need more efficiently.
In 2018, the NCCCP will celebrate its 20th anniversary. The cancer control community has seen progress in reducing the burden of tobacco-related cancers and an overall reduction in the incidence and death rates of cancer. However, the US population is aging, and each year the absolute number of new cases of cancer is expected to increase, even though overall population risk is declining. And there are areas that require additional efforts; for instance, colorectal cancer screening still lags behind that of breast and cervical cancer and large pockets of never or rarely screened populations remain, HPV vaccination rates for cervical cancer prevention are low, and incidence rates of liver cancer and melanoma among men are on the rise, even though there are effective interventions to prevent and/or significantly reduce risk for these two cancers.
Given this, it’s encouraging that Cancer Control P.L.A.N.E.T. is updated regularly to provide the latest information on topics relevant to NCCCP grantees and local cancer control practitioners. R2R is a promising platform for development of Communities of Practice that bring together NCCCP grantees, partners and other entities with common interests to share information on the implementation of evidence-based interventions. We look forward to a long future of Cancer Control P.L.A.N.E.T. and promoting the use of this innovative resource among our NCCCP grantees and cancer control stakeholders.

Julie S. Townsend, MS
Comprehensive Cancer Control Branch, Division of Cancer Prevention and Control
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Followers of this discussion

Followers of this discussion will be plesed to note (as was I) that CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity (DNPAO) has made important updates to the Data, Trends and Maps database. Users can now download data to create their own datasets, maps, graphs, and other visuals. The most current data for all indicators has also been added.

Through the database, you can view maps, tables, charts, and trend data in the areas of:

  • Obesity or Weight Status
  • Fruit and Vegetable Consumption
  • Physical Activity
  • Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Consumption
  • Television Viewing 
  • Breastfeeding

The CDC database includes state-level behavior, policy, and environmental indicators from multiple data sources. Housed on a new data platform, the Data, Trends and Maps system now provides more user-friendly features. As before, you can display all indicators for one state, or you can select one indicator and view data across all states. You can also sort data by demographic information such as income, race or ethnicity, gender, age and more.

You can access the database from DNPAO’s website at Data, Trends and Maps.

Followers of this discussion

Followers of this discussion will be interested in learning that CDC has released a public use research NPCR and SEER Incidence – United States Cancer Statistics (USCS) database that provides cancer data from all 50 U.S. states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico. This is the first time combined data from the CDC’s National Program of Cancer Registries (NPCR) and the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program have been made available in this format.

Detailed, de-identified information on several million cancer cases from 2001 to 2014 is now available online for free, providing researchers and the interested public the opportunity to analyze these data to better understand cancer, inform coordinated efforts to address cancer through prevention, and evaluate progress in cancer control.

Instructions on how to access the database and supporting documentation, including data dictionaries and analysis checklists, are available at