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What Comprehensive Cancer Control Programs Can Do to Reduce Excessive Alcohol Use

Comprehensive cancer control programs bring communities and partner organizations together to reduce the burden of cancer. CDC funds states, tribes, U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands, and territories through the National Comprehensive Cancer Control Program to form or support coalitions to prevent and control cancer in their communities.

To address alcohol as a risk factor for cancer, comprehensive cancer control programs can start or continue important activities to help reduce excessive alcohol use in their communities.

Collect and Analyze Data

  • Use CDC’s Prevention Status Reports to learn the status of Community Guide strategies for reducing excessive alcohol use in your state.
  • Conduct an environmental scan to identify any additional alcohol-related laws in your area.
  • Use the following CDC resources for statistics on excessive alcohol use, including the prevalence of binge drinking in your state, and monitor changes in these indicators over time—
  • Collaborate with your state’s BRFSS coordinator to assess additional BRFSS data on alcohol use among adults aged 18 years or older.
  • Collaborate with your state’s YRBS coordinator to assess additional YRBS data on alcohol use among high school students.
  • Use cancer registry data to examine the incidence rates and death rates for alcohol-related cancers in your state, including cancers of the female breast, liver, colon, rectum, mouth, pharynx, larynx, and esophagus, and monitor changes in these indicators over time.
  • Consider developing a special survey to examine a topic specific to your prevention efforts.

Identify and Engage Potential Partners

  • Educate cancer coalition members on the public health impact of excessive alcohol use and related harms, particularly alcohol-related cancer rates in your area.
  • Identify potential partners at local and national levels, and ask them to help you educate key stakeholders on cancer risks linked with alcohol use and strategies to reduce excessive alcohol use.
  • Collect information on alcohol use and alcohol-related cancer rates, and share this information with partners and stakeholders.
  • Disseminate information on evidence-based prevention strategies for excessive alcohol use, such as those recommended by the Community Guide.
  • Survey key partners to identify their needs and what resources they can add to your efforts to reduce excessive alcohol use.
  • Ensure that health promotion activities throughout the state are congruent with and supportive of reducing excessive alcohol use.

Measure Your Effects

Developing and implementing an evaluation plan is essential to measure the effect of your comprehensive cancer control program’s efforts to reduce excessive alcohol use. Evaluation can also help you track progress toward meeting the goals in your cancer plan and can help set an example or guide for other states.

The Comprehensive Cancer Control Branch Program Evaluation Toolkit provides guidance on how to plan and conduct evaluations. Plans for evaluation should be developed at the beginning of your efforts. This ensures that appropriate evaluation questions are developed, and that data sources are in place to capture baseline information before intervention activities begin. Behavioral surveillance systems already in place can be used to monitor changes in key excessive alcohol use indicators over time among high school students (YRBS) and adults (BRFSS) in your state.

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