About Cancer Surveillance

Cancer surveillance involves using uniformly collected data about cancer patients and the population to better understand patterns of cancer occurrence, treatment and survival in the population. Cancer differs from other chronic diseases in the US in that all 50 states have laws requiring newly diagnosed cancers to be reported to a central registry. At the Cancer Prevention Institute of California (CPIC), researchers use data from our Greater Bay Area Cancer Registry and the California Cancer Registry and National Cancer Institute Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) — the other cancer registries into which our data feed — to understand who is getting and surviving cancer. Our research goals are to:
  • Regularly describe cancer occurrence and cancer-related deaths in the Greater Bay Area in annual reports and special-topic reports that we distribute;
  • Identify differences in cancer occurrence, treatment, mortality and survival across population subgroups according to demographic, temporal, social or geographic characteristics and publish these findings in special reports and the peer-reviewed medical literature; 
  • Conduct detailed research studies to help identify cancer causes and ways to improve cancer survival; 
  • Assist the research community in their usage of cancer registry and related data so as to help advance efforts to reduce the cancer burden in the Greater Bay Area, and;
  • Respond to requests from the Greater Bay Area public for data and statistics on cancer.
The following article provides a broader discussion of cancer surveillance research:

Glaser SL, Clarke CA, Gomez SL, O'Malley CD, Purdie DM, West DW. Cancer surveillance research: a vital subdiscipline of cancer epidemiology. Cancer Causes Control 2005 Nov;16(9):1009-19.

Research Focus 

Surveillance researchers at CPIC use surveillance data in a variety of ways. Some areas of interests include:
  • Identifying and understanding patterns and disparities (including racial/ethnic differences) in the incidence, treatment and survival of various cancers 
  • Understanding geographic variations in cancer, from risk factors leading to the development of cancer (such as smoking) to factors influencing survival after cancer (such as access to screening)
  • Understanding how social and built environments impact cancer occurrence, cancer treatment, and cancer survival
To find out more about specific research studies at CPIC, visit the CPIC Studies page.

Contact Us

For more information about Surveillance, please contact the Data Release Coordinator, at data.release@cpic.org, or call (510) 608-5022.

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