Comprehensive Cancer Control

Comprehensive Cancer Control is a collaborative process that allows a community to pool resources to reduce the burden of cancer. This results in:

  • Risk reduction.
  • Early detection.
  • Better treatment.
  • Enhanced survivorship.

Why was Comprehensive Cancer Control Started?

Not very long ago, cancer was a death sentence. This began to change with the passage of the 1971 National Cancer Act. This act established the government’s commitment to cancer research. The resulting research, which focused on particular cancer sites (breast, lung, prostate, etc.), led to a greater understanding of how cancer works, tests for detecting cancer earlier, and better treatments.

While this "site-specific" approach is necessary for success, it is not sufficient to address the nation’s cancer burden—not when many Americans:

  • Are diagnosed with cancers that could have been prevented. 
  • Are diagnosed with late-stage disease. 
  • Do not have access to or receive recommended treatment. 
  • Do not experience optimal quality of life. 

For these reasons, state and national organizations began linking cancer prevention and control programs to fight cancer more effectively a decade ago.

Why is Comprehensive Cancer Control Important?

Comprehensive cancer control is about people working together to identify problems and develop solutions to better use limited resources and create better outcomes, because:

  • No one can do it alone. A united front against cancer can tackle major issues—like better access to quality care, survivorship, health disparities, and quality of life. These are too broad and crosscutting for any one organization to confront alone. 
  • Significant gaps exist. There are gaps in what is known and what is being done to solve cancer problems. We can improve awareness of current cancer care services and resources. Access to, and availability of, quality cancer care varies across the state. A cooperative approach leads to better coordination and more efficiency in cancer prevention and control efforts. 
  • Significant disparities exist. Cancer impacts some people more than others. Coordination and integration of statewide efforts helps ensure that underserved populations are not overlooked. 
  • We haven't won yet. Overall rates of new cancer cases and cancer deaths have been declining. However, as the population of Washington ages, the number of new cases and deaths are expected to increase. 

Find out more about comprehensive cancer control