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What Comprehensive Cancer Control Programs Can Do

A meeting of partners discussing among each other.

Many comprehensive cancer control programs grantees already include information about physical activity in their cancer plans, which included goals and strategies to address physical activity changes for cancer prevention.

CDC’s National Comprehensive Cancer Control Program (NCCCP) helps prevent and control cancer in the United States by funding comprehensive cancer control (CCC) programs in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, 6 U.S. Associated Pacific Islands and Puerto Rico, and 8 tribes or tribal organizations. Through these programs, CDC supports grantees’ efforts to—

  • Develop data-driven cancer control plans.
  • Set up and convene statewide cancer coalitions.
  • Implement and evaluate a state cancer control plan.

Many NCCCP grantees already include information about physical activity in their cancer plans. In a recent analysis of cancer plans, all programs recognized the importance of physical activity in cancer prevention, and most plans included goals and strategies to address physical activity changes for cancer prevention.40 CCC programs can also help promote physical activity for cancer prevention through the following activities—

Collect and Analyze Data

  • Conduct an environmental scan to identify physical activity legislation in your area. Environmental scans can help you understand the political climate for physical activity legislation and can help inform your own resource allocation and help you select strategies to improve physical activity in your community.
  • Use Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey data to monitor physical activity in your area.
  • Use cancer registry and vital statistics data to examine breast and colon cancer incidence and death rates in your area. These data can be used to look at trends over time by age group, race, and ethnicity.
  • Look for other data that may be available for analysis. Examples include administrative data on the number and locations of local parks, YMCAs, and other recreational areas.
  • Monitor changes in data over time to determine if your efforts to increase physical activity are making a difference.
  • Develop a survey on a specific topic, such as a whether primary care doctors in your area are counseling patients on physical activity for cancer prevention, or whether there are community supports for physical activity.

Identify and Engage Potential Partners

  • Educate comprehensive cancer control (CCC) coalition members about breast and colon cancer rates and trends in your area.
  • Engage your National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) and Colorectal Cancer Control Program (CRCCP) partners to identify potential ways to work together on physical activity strategies.
  • Identify and engage national, state, and local chronic disease programs to collaborate and leverage existing resources to achieve a greater impact.
  • Identify other potential partners at local and national levels and ask them to help you educate key stakeholders on strategies to increase physical activity.
  • Share current data on breast and colon cancer rates and physical activity with partners.
  • Provide information to partners, stakeholders, and decision makers in your area.
  • Encourage breast and colon cancer survivors to share their stories and serve as champions for increased physical activity and cancer prevention in their community.
  • Identify the needs of key partners and the resources they can add to your efforts.
  • Partner with local schools and workplaces to develop and evaluate strategies to increase physical activity in the community.
  • Implement community-based strategies identified by The Guide to Community Preventive Services within your local population.
  • Educate your local healthcare providers on United States Preventive Services Task Force recommendations and resources available for their patients.

Update Your Cancer Plan

The cancer plans of many CCC programs already include some information about physical activity. However, a recent analysis showed that the level of detail and the number of goals and strategies related to nutrition and physical activity varied greatly.40 Including evidence-based strategies for physical activity changes in cancer plans is a key step in promoting physical activity for cancer prevention and cancer survivorship.

Measure Your Effects

Use CDC’s Comprehensive Cancer Control Branch Program Evaluation Toolkit to develop an evaluation plan to help you measure the effects of your efforts to increase physical activity. Programs should develop your evaluation plan before intervention activities begin, if possible, to ensure that appropriate evaluation questions and data sources are in place to capture baseline information. Share your evaluation results with other CCC programs to help identify effective strategies that can be replicated in other areas.

Comprehensive Cancer Control Program Success Stories

Here are some examples of success stories from CCC programs promoting physical activity changes in their communities—

Possible Partners for Comprehensive Cancer Control Programs

Possible National Partners

  • America Walks
  • American Academy of Family Physicians
  • American Academy of Pediatrics
  • American Cancer Society
  • American College of Sports Medicine
  • American Public Health Association affiliates
  • American School Health Association
  • National Recreation and Park Association
  • Safe Routes to School National Partnership
  • SHAPE America
  • YMCA of the USA

Federal Agencies

Local Partners to Consider

  • Transportation, land use, and community design sector
  • Parks and recreational and fitness facilities
  • Schools
  • Colleges and universities
  • Worksites
  • Volunteer and nonprofit organizations
  • Comprehensive cancer control coalition members
  • Health care sector
  • Public health sector
  • Media
  • Law enforcement