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!