June 23, 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.

CPIC releases the most recent cancer statistics for the Greater Bay Area

JUNE 2016

CPIC releases the most recent cancer statistics for the Greater Bay Area

Over the 26 years between 1988 and 2013, the rates at which people in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area are being diagnosed with cancer and dying from it have been decreasing, according to researchers at the Cancer Prevention Institute of California (CPIC). 

From 2009 through 2013, there were 156,292 new cases of cancer diagnosed in the Greater Bay Area. The five most common invasive cancer sites in the Greater Bay Area were breast, prostate, lung and bronchus, colorectal, and melanoma. Together these five cancers accounted for over half of all newly diagnosed cases. Read the press release.

CPIC to collaborate on study of breast cancer in Gold Country

CPIC researchers are studying the levels of certain metals found in women with breast cancer living in Gold Country, a mining-impacted community. An early study revealed residents had a significantly higher chemical levels than people living outside the area. The study will be completed by February 2017. Learn more about the study.

June is Men’s Health Month

Men’s Health Month is celebrated across the country in June to increase the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys. Did you know men are at an increased risk for 32 out of 35 cancers?

View our men’s health infographic for tips to Get in Front of cancer. A gift made in memory or honor of a man or boy in your life to fund cancer prevention research and programs is a meaningful way to pay tribute this month.

Garlicky leafy greens – a delicious and nutritious way to eat your veggies

Last week Friday we celebrated Eat Your Vegetables Day. Garlicky leafy greens from Rebecca Katz’s cookbook One Bite at a Time is a quick and delicious way to eat your veggies and reduce your risk of cancer.

Donor profile – Isabella Conti shares why she makes an annual gift to CPIC

In 1965, newlywed Isabella Conti arrived in San Francisco. It was the final stop for Conti and her new husband, an engineer, on their one-year honeymoon. They were traveling in their Volkswagen bus from Canada to South America, far from their home in Italy. Taking in the magnificent view from the Bay Bridge, it became clear the Bay Area would be their new home. They never left.

Today, she is a grandmother of two and for the past 27 years she has owned a successful executive development consulting firm.

Since 2010, Conti has supported the work of CPIC with an annual gift. She lost her own mother and many friends to cancer. As Conti states, “I support CPIC because it is a worthy cause. We have to understand the causes of cancer so that we can understand how the disease can be prevented. Early detection is important.”  
She is inspired by the dedication of the CPIC researchers who are unwavering in their devotion to understanding who gets cancer and why. In Conti’s words, “CPIC’s work makes me more hopeful about the future.”

Support from generous donors like Isabella Conti is critical in fulfilling CPIC’s vision of a world free of cancer. Please support cancer prevention.

  Double your donation to CPIC through your employee match program

Did you know that many employers will match the donation you make to CPIC through your employee match program? Retirees and current employees are typically eligible to participate. Please ask your employer to add CPIC to the list of eligible charities. You may need to submit a matching gift request through your HR department.

   Hundreds of supporters attend sold-out PlumpJack/LINK Golf Classic 

On May 2nd, 150 golfers and more than 250 dinner guests turned out for the 17th Annual PlumpJack/LINK Golf Classic. Each year PlumpJack President and CPIC Board Member Hilary Newsom Callan hosts the benefit she founded with her husband, Geoff Callan, to honor her late mother Tessa Newsom who lost her battle with breast cancer 13 years ago. 

The event also honors her mother-in-law, Barbara Callan, a 27-year breast cancer survivor. This year’s sold-out event raised $221,000 for the community education programs of CPIC. Since its inception, the Callans have raised more than $3 million for CPIC.