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Hawaii Med J. 2011 February; 70(2): 41–42.
PMCID: PMC3071210

UH Cancer Center Hotline

Envision Our State with “No More Cancer”
Monitoring Editor: Carl-Wilhelm Vogel, MD, PHD
Paula Higuchi, MSW, Chair

The Need

Chances are either you or someone you know has been touched by cancer. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the islands, accounting for nearly one of every five deaths statewide. Each year more than 6,000 men and women in Hawai‘i are diagnosed with cancer, and another 2,000 die from the disease. The Hawai‘i Comprehensive Cancer Control Coalition is committed to reducing the burden of cancer in our state. Our vision is “No More Cancer.” Realizing that no one organization can accomplish this task alone, health care providers, elected officials, public health leaders, hospitals and clinics, community-based organizations, clinicians, and individuals (cancer survivors and family members) have united as members of the Hawai‘i Comprehensive Cancer Control Coalition.

What is Comprehensive Cancer Control?

Comprehensive cancer control (CCC) is a process through which communities and partner organizations pool resources to reduce the burden of cancer. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) initiated the National Comprehensive Cancer Control Program (NCCCP) in 1998 to help states, tribes, and territories form coalitions to fight cancer. These coalitions collect data to determine the greatest cancer-related needs in their area, and develop and carry out plans to meet those needs. The CCC plans include activities that —

  • Encourage people to live a healthy lifestyle.
  • Promote cancer screening tests.
  • Increase access to good cancer care.
  • Improve the quality of life for people who survive cancer.1

Since 1998, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Comprehensive Cancer Control Program (NCCCP) has made great strides to reduce the burden of cancer in the United States. NCCCP supports 50 states, the District of Columbia, 7 tribal groups, and 7 US Associated Pacific Islands/territories to establish coalitions, assess the burden of cancer, determine priorities, and develop and implement cancer plans. Currently there are 17 national partners including American Cancer Society; American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network; American College of Surgeons, Commission on Cancer; Association of State and Territorial Health Officials; C-Change; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Health Resources and Services Administration; Indian Health Service; Intercultural Cancer Council; Lance Armstrong Foundation; Leukemia and Lymphoma Society; National Association of Chronic Disease Directors; National Association of County and City Health Officials; National Cancer Institute; National Indian Health Board; North American Association of Central Cancer Registries; and Susan G. Komen for the Cure. (See Figure 1)

Figure 1
The goal of CCC is decreased cancer morbidity and mortality, decreased health disparities, and an increased quality of life for everyone living in this country. CCC is accomplishing these successes through the development of a shared, comprehensive vision ...

Progress in Hawai‘i

Cancer control stakeholders in our state have been actively engaged in comprehensive cancer control since 2003, when these stakeholders met to brainstorm and develop the first Hawai‘i State Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan (2004–2010). The Hawai‘i Comprehensive Cancer Control Coalition (HCCCC) is a legion of dedicated individuals, professionals, and cancer survivors who share expertise, resources, and ideas to tackle priorities that are too broad to confront alone. The result is a powerful network of groups across our state working to reduce cancer and improve survivors' quality of life.

Two resources essential to drive the HCCCC toward our goal of “No More Cancer” are current data and a plan. In October 2010, the Hawai‘i Cancer Facts and Figures 2010 and the Hawai‘i State Cancer Plan 2010–2015 were unveiled in collaboration with key cancer control stakeholders including the University of Hawai‘i Cancer Center, the Hawai‘i State Department of Health, the American Cancer Society as part of a Coalition meeting held at the State Capitol auditorium.

The Hawai‘i Cancer Facts and Figures was last published in 2005. Recognizing the need to update the information, the HCCC Coalition's Data/Surveillance Action Team including key partners from the American Cancer Society, University of Hawai‘i Cancer Center, and Department of Health collaborated in revising the Facts and Figures under the leadership of the Hawai‘i Tumor Registry. It was a labor-intensive, time-consuming process to ensure the accuracy of the data. The result is a quality resource that describes the burden of cancer for our state and provides local cancer incidence, mortality, and survivorship data from the Cancer Center's Hawai‘i Tumor Registry and the Hawai‘i Department of Health's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. The information is available in printed format as an “at a glance” brochure and in a comprehensive format.

In early 2010, key leaders from across the state, with guidance from immediate past-Chair Senator Rosalyn Baker, convened to review the progress of the State Plan 2004–2009 and update it. The Hawai‘i State Cancer Plan 2010–2015 represents collective thoughts, goals, strategies, and also emphasizes the need to address health disparities in our community. It reflects the progress made in the first plan, and serves as a strategic roadmap for reducing the cancer burden on our state's population. The result is a user friendly format with four goals:

Goal 1: Prevention. Prevent future cancers by reducing exposure to known risk factors for Hawai‘i residents.

Goal 2: Early Detection. Increase early detection to decrease late stage cancer.

Goal 3: Equitable Access to Care. All Hawai‘i residents, especially cancer survivors and the medically underserved, must have facilitated access to the health care system.

Goal 4: Quality of Life. Improve the quality of life for cancer survivors and others battling the effects of cancer.

In addition to the four goals, health disparities including access to quality cancer care are addressed. Lastly, described are ways organizations and individuals can take action towards reducing the cancer burden in Hawai‘i. It is through these goals and objectives that the Coalition seeks to expand our community of cancer survivors and thrivers!

A Call to Action

To accomplish meaningful reductions in cancer morbidity and mortality and increase quality of life, many people must be involved, both personally and professionally. The passion for controlling and eliminating cancer must be driven by well-planned, well-funded goals, and must be carried out by identifying specific common priorities, designing effective solutions, and then by delivering results.3 We seek those who are committed to a future in which the HCCC Coalition addresses our state's cancer burden though a CCC program that is well-equipped to deliver measurable outcomes. The Hawai‘i Comprehensive Cancer Control partners invite You to link your efforts to CCC to make the vision of “No More Cancer” for our state a reality.

For more information about the Hawai‘i Comprehensive Cancer Control Coalition or to become a member, call 808-692-7480. To obtain a copy of the Hawai‘i Cancer Facts and Figures 2010 or the Hawai‘i State Cancer Plan, call 1-800-227-2345 or to view the Hawai‘i Cancer Facts and Figures 2010 online at www.cancer.org, www.crch.org, or www.hawaii.gov/health/.

References

1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: National Comprehensive Cancer control Program website. accessed at: http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/ncccp/
2. Given L, Black B, Lowry G, Huang P, Kerner J. Collaborating to conquer cancer: a comprehensive approach to cancer control. Cancer Causes & Control. 2005;16(Suppl. 1):3–14. 8. [PubMed]
3. Selig W, Jenkins K, Reynolds S, Benson D, Daven M. Examining advocacy and comprehensive cancer control. Cancer Causes and Control. 2005;16(Suppl. 1):61–68. 66. [PubMed]

Articles from Hawaii Medical Journal are provided here courtesy of University Clinical, Education & Research Associates