November 22, 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 study links obesity, starting at adolescence, to endometrial cancer

November 2016

CPIC study links obesity, starting at adolescence, to endometrial cancer among women not using hormone therapy

In this study led by the Cancer Prevention Institute of California (CPIC), researchers evaluated changes in obesity, beginning at adolescence, to identify lifetime risk factors that may lead to endometrial cancer. Read the press release.

Last chance to get your tickets for DanceFAR

Before you leave for the long Thanksgiving weekend, don’t forgot to reserve your tickets for DanceFAR taking place on Tuesday, November 29 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. Great seats are still available. Featuring classical ballet artists who have graced the world's top stages, hip-hop dancers who have won TV's So You Think You Can Dance, and world premiere contemporary choreography, there is something for everyone. 

Following the performance, all ticket buyers are invited to join us for the after-party featuring food from EPIC Steak, Farallon, Twenty Five Lusk, Waterbar, Wayfare Tavern, Extreme Pizza, Sweet Things and drinks compliments of Cannonball Wine Company, Rocky Hill wines and Reed & Greenough.

San Francisco Magazine is the official media sponsor of DanceFAR. The Woodbury Foundation is a Get in Front sponsor of DanceFAR.

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month

While the rate continues to decline, lung cancer is still the second most common cancer in the Greater Bay Area and the cause of one in four cancer deaths. Take a look at our infographic to get the facts on the dangers of tobacco, e-cigarettes, and secondhand smoke.

Tips to get in front of cancer on Thanksgiving Day and for hosting cancer survivors

You know obesity and alcohol increase your cancer risk. You probably also know Thanksgiving is one of the most indulgent days of the year. Take a look at our infographic for tips to get in front of cancer on Thanksgiving Day and for hosting cancer survivors undergoing treatment.

Still planning your Thanksgiving menu? Look no further than Rebecca Katz’s Recipe Box for healthy and delicious Thanksgiving recipe ideas including Lentil Salad with Roasted Beets, Kale with Delicata Squash, Moroccan Carrot Soup and many more.

Double your donation to CPIC at no extra cost to you

You may be able to double your donation to CPIC by taking advantage of your employer's corporate matching gift program. Along with current employees, retired employees, spouses and board members of eligible companies can oftentimes participate. Check here to see if your company will match your donation and to access the information you’ll need to submit your matching gift request to your employer.

  Support CPIC while you shop this holiday season

Designate CPIC as your charity of choice when you shop thousands of your favorite retailers online through Amazon Smile or 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. Until November 30, you can also support CPIC when you shop online at Lulu Frost and enter promo code dancefar10.

  CPIC participates in the Bay Area Cancer Connections Annual Conference

The community education department of CPIC exhibited at the 13th Annual Conference of Bay Area Cancer Connections (BCC) earlier this month. CPIC partnered with BCC to provide continuing education units to licensed nurses, and gave away free publications to breast and ovarian cancer survivors, health professionals and organizations serving the cancer community.

You can download these publications - Working with Cancer, Living with Cancer, Estates: Planning Ahead and Information for Patients Recently Diagnosed with Cancer – for free on the community education page. To request printed publications, please contact us.

  Get the scoop on what the new presidential administration means for cancer research at PMWC Silicon Valley

A new presidential administration means change. Attend the Personalized Medicine World Conference Silicon Valley three days after the inauguration to hear from those in the know. Will we see a change in regulations, research funding, and drug or device approval? Will the oversight of different government initiatives change - including the Cancer Moonshot? What regulations are in store for the health insurance industry? Register today. Prices increase tomorrow.