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Did you know?

  • We envision a world free from cancer.

    Our research scientists and their teams collaborate with colleagues around the world to conduct cutting-edge research using large data-sets to:
    • understand the causes of cancer
    • find ways to prevent it or detect it early
    • improve outcomes for cancer survivors 
  • Our mission began more than 40 years ago.

    Established in 1974 as the Northern California Cancer Program, the organization later became known as the Northern California Cancer Center. The name was changed again in 2010 when it became the Cancer Prevention Institute of California (CPIC), which reflects the organization's broader scope and demonstrates its large scale impact of preventing cancer before it starts.
  • We are an independent research institute and a valued partner to many.

    Through its collaborative approach, CPIC also serves as an asset to the nation’s leading cancer fighting organizations, including the National Cancer Institute, and to scientists worldwide, educators, patients, and clinicians, and is affiliated with the Stanford Cancer Institute.
  • We work hard to understand who gets cancer and why.

    Our scientists are frequent contributors to major scientific journals, and often present their findings at important cancer-related conferences. CPIC research has been covered by numerous local, national and international media outlets, such as The New York Times and The Washington Post.
  • Every case of cancer counts…and is counted.

    CPIC operates the Greater Bay Area Cancer Registry as part of the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results program and the California Cancer Registry. As required by law, the registry gathers data from hospitals and doctors on all cancers diagnosed and treated in nine Bay Area counties. This information is used to produce cancer statistics and as a platform for research to understand cancer occurrences and survival. Our registry regularly earns Gold Standard Certification by the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries.
  • Our educational efforts reach people of all ethnicities and backgrounds.

    Our Community Education team provides important information to cancer survivors, health professionals and others through conferences and publications on many cancer-related topics including employment, patient advocacy, care giving, specific cancers, and treatments.

  • Breast cancer rates decline when hormone therapy is stopped.

    CPIC was first to report on the alarmingly high and increasing rates of breast cancer in the Bay Area and Marin County in the 1990s. In subsequent studies, CPIC found that when women stopped taking hormone replacement therapy, breast cancer rates declined immediately and dramatically. This showed that hormone therapy was a major contributor to the high rates previously reported and identified one clear path to breast cancer prevention.
  • Our work to associate tanning beds and melanoma prompted legislation.

    CPIC described increased occurrence of melanoma in young women in California, particularly in high socioeconomic areas, implicating use of tanning beds as one cause. This finding led to passage of the first statewide legislation to ban minors from using tanning beds, which should ultimately reduce occurrences of deadly melanoma in young persons.
  • Physical activity lowers your risk of Breast Cancer

    CPIC found that risk of breast cancer was lower for women engaging in more physical activity, such as walking and biking, doing household chores and yard work, and being active on the job. This shows a simple and practical way women can help prevent breast cancer from occurring.
  • Second-hand smoke increases the risk of lung and breast cancer.

    CPIC studies have shown that women exposed to second-hand tobacco smoke have a higher risk of lung cancer even if they don't smoke, and that exposure to household smoke increases their risk of breast cancer over and above the risk they incur from smoking themselves. These findings have been important in leading to anti-smoking legislation.
  • Vitamin D may reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

    CPIC assessed whether sun exposure, which is the main source of vitamin D, is related to prostate cancer risk. Using the difference in skin color measured on the forehead and upper underarm as an indicator of sun exposure, the study found that prostate cancer risk was reduced by 50% in men with a high sun exposure index, with an even higher reduction in risk noted in men with certain alterations in the vitamin D receptor gene.
  • Survival outcomes differ among Asian women of different ethnic backgrounds.

    CPIC was the first to show that breast cancer survival is not uniform across women of different Asian ethnicities, irrespective of how advanced the cancer was when diagnosed. In California, Korean, South Asian and Vietnamese women had the poorest survival after breast cancer, pointing to the need in these communities for better screening and/or breast cancer treatment.
  • Melanoma is on the rise throughout California.

    CPIC demonstrated that the rates of both early and more advanced melanomas were rising in all populations in California. This disturbing finding signals a true and alarming epidemic of this deadly cancer, and it has been cited over 245 times in the medical literature since 2009 because it identifies a major public health problem.
  • Survival disparities occur across many cancer types.

    CPIC showed that survival after follicular lymphoma, a common form of this cancer, is lower in poorer communities than in more affluent communities. This demonstrates population disparities in cancer treatment and shows a need in poorer communities for more access to skilled lymphoma care, including access to new successful drug treatments.
  • Our nail salon studies have widespread positive impact.

    CPIC found that California nail salons had higher than expected levels of carcinogens and other banned substances in the air, identifying the need for better standards and the importance of clarifying whether such exposures lead to cancer and other undesirable health outcomes.
  • Tailored approaches to healthcare are needed to address cultural differences.

    CPIC used two approaches to learn how best to help Vietnamese communities in California receive lifesaving colorectal cancer screening: one approach involved lay health workers directly educating the community on the importance of screening, and the other involved advertising about colorectal cancer screening. CPIC found that the use of lay health workers worked best to improve the screening rate, proving that organized community involvement improves colorectal screening practices among Vietnamese-Americans in California.
  • Lung cancer afflicts nonsmoking women more than men.

    CPIC was the first to show definitively that among nonsmokers, women were more likely than men to have lung cancer. Until this paper, there were no hard data about the incidence of lung cancer in nonsmokers. This study has been cited extensively as motivation for other research to understand the reasons why.
  • Genetic screening is especially important for African American and Hispanic women.

    CPIC was the first to study the level of BRCA1 mutations (genetic changes responsible for increased risk of breast cancer) in nonwhite women. This work found that young African American and Hispanic women with breast cancer had a particularly high prevalence of BRCA1 mutations, and signaled the importance to these communities and their doctors of screening for this mutation when indicated.

Other Ways to Give

There are many ways you can support the Cancer Prevention Institute of California (CPIC). Whether you make an unrestricted annual gift, include CPIC in your estate plans, support one of our special events through attendance or sponsorship, host a special event, designate CPIC as the beneficiary of an event you participate in, or volunteer your time and skills, you can help ensure that CPIC will continue to conduct cutting-edge research on preventing cancer so that one day we will all live in a cancer-free world.  

Annual Fund

Your gift to  the Annual Fund helps to support projects with the most significant need or potential.

Honor and memorial gifts

One of the most meaningful ways to remember loved ones, to honor family and friends, or to thank a special person is to make a tribute gift to CPIC. When a gift is received, the development office will send a notification of the gift to the honoree, or in the case of a memorial gift, the honoree’s designated family member. The amount of the gift will not be shared with the honoree or family member.

Naming CPIC in your will

Gifts from estates are a meaningful way for you to support the mission of CPIC for years to come. We encourage you to notify the development office of your intention to name CPIC in an estate plan or will, as we are honored to recognize such caring support.

Corporate sponsorships

Corporate sponsorships of charitable events and community outreach programs are a great way for your company or business to gain exposure as a valued supporter of CPIC. If you would like to help with sponsoring or would like to know more about upcoming events, please contact the development office

Matching gifts

You may be able to maximize giving by taking advantage of your employer's corporate matching gift program. Contact your human resources office for details. Matching gift programs are usually also open to retirees, spouses, and board members.

See if your company will match your donation and to access the forms, guidelines, and instructions you need to submit your matching gift.

Life income gifts

Make a gift to CPIC and receive immediate financial benefits, including a lifetime stream of income and a charitable income tax deduction. There are several gift vehicles to choose from, such as charitable gift annuities, deferred charitable gift annuities, charitable remainder trusts, charitable lead trusts and pooled income funds.

Support CPIC where you already shop and eat - at no additional cost to you

Donating to CPIC is just one way you can support cancer prevention. Designate the Cancer Prevention Institute of California as your charity of choice when you register and shop thousands of your favorite retailers online through Amazon Smile, goodshop, subscribe to meal delivery service Munchery or eat at one of the restaurants listed on Mogl. The participating merchants will donate a percentage of sales to CPIC.


Cancer Prevention has partnered with Goodshop to bring you amazing savings from all of your favorite retailers. Goodshop works with stores to bring you deals like Bed Bath & Beyond promo codes for bedding and houseware, Office Depot discounts for office supplies, Harry & David savings for gifts and sweets, and much more. Each time you shop, a percentage is donated back to us. So you can save and give back to help support preventing cancer and the work we do! Check out Goodshop, today.


Sign in or create a free account through Amazon Smile and you’ll have access to all the great products on the Amazon website.


Create a free Mogl account on your phone or computer and link it to a credit card. Then, use the app to locate the Cancer Prevention Institute of California fundraiser and click join. Find a list of participating restaurants here.

For more information, please contact the Development Office: or (510) 608-5160.