April 20, 2016
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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.

New study suggests why cancer survival is greater for married patients

APRIL 2016

New study suggests why cancer survival is greater for married patients

A new study by the Cancer Prevention Institute of California (CPIC) has received worldwide attention in such prestigious publications as the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, U.S. News & World Report, Today.com, and CBSNews.com.

Led by Scarlett Lin Gomez, researchers found that while having access to greater economic resources including private health insurance and living in higher socioeconomic status neighborhoods were associated with improved survival, these factors did not greatly impact the beneficial effects on survival rate among married patients. 

The study was published on April 11 in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.

Time is running out to reserve your spot at the 17th Annual PlumpJack/LINK Golf Classic to support CPIC breast cancer education

The 17th Annual PlumpJack/LINK Golf Classic supporting breast cancer education at CPIC will take place on May 2 at Lake Merced Golf and Country Club. CPIC Board of Trustee Hilary Newsom Callan and her husband Geoff Callan host this annual event in honor of their mothers, Tessa Newsom, who succumbed to breast cancer in 2002, and Barbara Callan, a 28-year breast cancer survivor.

The event includes breakfast, a chipping and putting contest, an 18-hole shotgun golf game, lunch, on-course activities throughout the day. For the golfers and the evening guests, there is a cocktail reception, silent and live auctions, a sit-down dinner, and entertainment. Some of the silent auction items include apparel and accessories from such sought after brands as Diane Von Furstenberg, Paige Denim, Tory Burch, and Mountain Force. 

The PlumpJack/LINK Golf Classic has raised more than $3 million for CPIC and provides critical funding for CPIC community education conferences, program scholarships, individual assistance/referrals, and print materials on topics such as: treatment choices, managing treatment side effects, family issues, health insurance, employment, family genetics, nutrition, self-advocacy in the medical system, and much more.

Support the important work CPIC does by registering today for this year’s PlumpJack/LINK Golf Classic!

  Earth Day and cancer prevention

Earth Day is this Friday, April 22. You can make an impact on this day and every day by taking steps to protect our planet and to reduce your risk of cancer. Download our infographic for some easy tips.

CPIC’s environmental researchers have conducted numerous studies on flame retardants, chemicals in nail salons and polishes, pesticides, night at light and trace chemicals in the air and soil.

 Mark your calendar for East Bay Gives on May 3

East Bay Gives is a one-day annual giving event that brings CPIC and other East Bay nonprofit organizations together with donors who want to show their support for our communities. 

Sponsored by the East Bay Community Foundation, this event is part of a nationwide program called "Give Local America." Show your support for cancer prevention by making a gift or asking your company to participate.

CPIC announces its new scientific advisory board

CPIC welcomed a highly respected panel of advisors from academia, business and the medical community to the newly formed scientific advisory board. Their goal is to provide strategic guidance to CPIC leadership in areas of scientific research, investigator competitions, and grant programs.

The committee is comprised of Robert Haile of Stanford University School of Medicine and Stanford Cancer Institute, Chris Holsinger of Stanford University Medical Center, Ann M. Lowe, a clinical research and development consultant with extensive experience in the biotechnology industry, and Electra Paskett of Ohio State University. Visit our website to learn more about their accomplished careers.

   A recipe for your Mother’s Day brunch

For your Mother’s Day brunch, we bring you the Roasted Asparagus Salad with Arugula and Hazelnuts recipe from Rebecca Katz’s cookbook The Longevity Kitchen: Satisfying, Big-Flavor Recipes Featuring the Top 16 Age-Busting Power Foods — foods proven to fight the most common chronic conditions. 

 We want mom's story 

Mother’s Day will be here on Sunday, May 8.
Have our research and community education programs helped your mother or wife? If you are a mother, have you benefited from our programs? 
We may want to feature your story.