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Hannah K. Weir, PhD, MSc

Cancer does not have to be an inevitable consequence of getting older

In this video abstract, Dr. Weir talks about her work to predict the number of new cancer cases and deaths to the year 2020.

Hannah K. Weir, PhD, is a senior epidemiologist in the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control’s Epidemiology and Applied Research Branch. Prior to coming to CDC, Dr. Weir was an epidemiologist at Cancer Care Ontario (Canada). Dr. Weir’s research focus is primarily in the area of cancer surveillance, with a particular focus on population-based cancer survival.

She received her PhD training in cancer epidemiology at the University of Toronto. Her Masters in epidemiology is from the Department of Environmental Health at the University of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Dr. Weir joined CDC in 1996, where she helped establish the National Program of Cancer Registries’ (NPCR’s) Cancer Surveillance System (NPCR-CSS) to receive, evaluate, and disseminate data from the 48 population-based cancer registries funded by CDC. She also led the first team responsible for publishing the annual United States Cancer Statistics (USCS) report featuring incidence data from NPCR and the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program. Dr. Weir was the first CDC author to lead the Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer.

In 2008, Dr. Weir received the Constance L. Percy Award for Distinguished Service from the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR) for her work in the cancer surveillance community in promoting collaboration between national and state partners in the collection and use of population-based survival data. Dr. Weir is the Chair of the NAACCR Research and Data Use Steering Committee.

Dr. Weir serves on the steering committees for the CONCORD Programme (global surveillance of cancer survival) and the annual Canadian Cancer Statistics reports. The first CONCORD study was a worldwide analysis of cancer survival in five continents and the first study to use standard quality-control procedures and identical analytic methods for all datasets. It reported that for patients diagnosed and followed through the 1990s, cancer survival for female breast, colon, rectum, or prostate varied widely between and within countries. The study documented that in the United States, cancer survival in black men and women was systematically and substantially lower than in white men and women in all 16 states and six metropolitan areas included.

A second study (CONCORD 2) is underway and will include more U.S. cancer registries, more cancer sites, and expanded global coverage. The study will also include detailed analysis of cancer survival in the United States, including an estimate of the number of avoidable deaths if cancer disparities by race were eliminated.

The most recent articles Dr. Weir has first-authored include—