Cancer Registries in Action

Central cancer registries across the country share innovative ways they use cancer data to help fight cancer. CDC’s National Program of Cancer Registries helps states do this work through funding and technical support.

NPCR Celebrates 30 Years
National Program of Cancer Registries: 30 Years: 1992 to 2022

The National Program of Cancer Registries celebrated 30 years of funding state and territorial cancer registries to collect cancer data, measure progress, drive action, prevent cancers, and improve treatment for all people in 2022. Our partner, the National Cancer Registrars Association (NCRA), featured posters showcasing program successes for all states and territories at their annual national conference. To celebrate NPCR’s 30th anniversary, NCRA posted the success story posters [PDF-4.7MB] for all states reporting in 2021.

Texas: Raising Awareness About Cancers Linked to Overweight and Obesity
A woman riding her bicycle

Weighing too much is the second largest cause of cancer after cigarette smoking. It is estimated that overweight and obesity are linked to 40% of all cancers diagnosed in the United States each year. The Texas Cancer Registry published a report showing that the rate of 13 cancer types linked to overweight and obesity went up in Texas between 2005 and 2014. Texas used cancer data to raise awareness and show that being overweight is a relevant cancer risk factor to Texans.

Kentucky: Finding Out Why Children Have Higher Cancer Rates
Photo of a boy and a girl walking in a mountain trail.

Kentucky Cancer Registry data showed that the rate of common childhood cancers is higher in Kentucky than in the United States as a whole, and even higher among children in Kentucky’s Appalachian region. In response to seeing these disparities, the state legislature established the Kentucky Pediatric Cancer Research Trust Fund in 2015 to help further investigate why children in Kentucky have high cancer rates.

Mississippi: Adding Breast Cancer Screening to the Football Playbook
Photo of a family spending time together, having fun in the park.

Jefferson County, in the southwest part of Mississippi, is the second poorest county in the nation. African-American women in this county have higher rates of getting and dying from breast cancer. The Breast Cancer Disparity Roundtable used cancer registry data to help regions with high rates of breast cancer. Members of the Roundtable organized a screening event on the campus of Alcorn State University, a historically black university, in Jefferson County before the homecoming game. They provided education on breast cancer screening and mammogram services available at the local health center.

Massachusetts: Reducing Cervical Cancer Among Older Women
Photo of friends having coffee

The Massachusetts Cancer Registry looked at cervical cancer data from 2004 through 2015 and found that nearly one-fourth of cases were diagnosed among women who were 65 years old or older. Current guidelines recommend that women in this age group not be screened for cervical cancer if they have had regular, recommended screenings in the past. Central cancer registries partnered with state cancer control programs, academic institutions, and medical centers to ensure older women have received screening for cervical cancer to help address this treatable cancer.

Delaware: Closing the Gap in Prostate Cancer Deaths Among African-American Men
Photo of three men sitting in a table together.

In the past 10 years, cancer programs in Delaware have informed men, especially African-American men, about the risk of getting prostate cancer. The Delaware Cancer Registry provides detailed information about new cases of, and deaths from, prostate cancer. Although the rate of getting prostate cancer is high in Delaware, the five-year average death rate has dropped by nearly one-third in the past 10 years. Much of this decrease is because fewer African-American men are dying from the disease.

Colorado: Finding a New Way to Help Cancer Patients Get Genetic Services
Photo of a nurse with face mask holding buccal cotton swab and test tube ready to collect DNA from the cells on the inside of a patient.

The Colorado Central Cancer Registry developed a computer program to find out which patients meet guidelines for referral to genetic counseling. The goal is to help hospitals make sure that patients who need genetic services are referred to a genetic counselor. Family members of people with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome or Lynch syndrome may be at higher risk for cancer. They should talk to their doctor about genetic counseling to see if genetic testing could help them lower their risk of getting cancer. The registry sends three hospitals the names of their patients who may benefit from genetic services to encourage hospitals to offer genetic counseling.