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About the Program

Download the 2008/2009 National Comprehensive Cancer Control Program Fact Sheet (PDF-597KB).

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) supports Comprehensive Cancer Control (CCC), an integrated and coordinated approach to reducing cancer incidence, morbidity, and mortality through prevention, early detection, treatment, rehabilitation, and palliation. These efforts encourage healthy lifestyles, promote recommended cancer screening guidelines and tests, increase access to quality cancer care, and improve quality of life for cancer survivors.

In 1998, CDC established the National Comprehensive Cancer Control Program (NCCCP), which provided seed money and technical support for the development and implementation of CCC plans. Today, CDC funds CCC programs in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, 7 tribes and tribal organizations, and 7 U.S. territories.

Burden of Cancer

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States and it is the leading cause of death among persons under 75 years of age.1 In 2004, 553,880 people—more than 1,500 people a day—died of cancer in this country, according to the U.S. Cancer Statistics: 2004 Incidence and Mortality report. That same year, 1,342,126 people were diagnosed with cancer in the United States.*2 Recent cancer statistics demonstrate only modest progress in reducing the burden for some, but not all, types of cancer.3

In addition to its devastating personal impact, cancer cost this country an estimated $219 billion in 2007, including nearly $130 billion for lost productivity and $89 billion in direct medical costs.4

*Incidence counts cover approximately 98% of the U.S. population. Death counts cover 100% of the U.S. population. Use caution in comparing incidence and death counts.

Early Detection

Routine screening can reduce the number of deaths from colorectal cancer by 60% or more.5

For women aged 40 years or older, a mammogram every 1–2 years can reduce the risk of dying of breast cancer by approximately 20%–25% during a period of 10 years.6

Pap tests can find abnormal changes in cells on the cervix before these cells turn into cancer. Researchers in many countries have found that rates of cervical cancer death dropped by 20%–60% after screening programs began.7

The National Partnership for Comprehensive Cancer Control

To help coordinate CCC efforts taking place at the national, state, local, tribal, and territorial levels, CDC works with many organizations, including:

  • American Cancer Society.
  • American College of Surgeons, Commission on Cancer.
  • C-Change.
  • Intercultural Cancer Council.
  • Lance Armstrong Foundation.
  • National Association of Chronic Disease Directors.
  • National Association of County and City Health Officials.
  • National Cancer Institute.
  • North American Association of Central Cancer Registries.

Since 2000, this National Partnership for Comprehensive Cancer Control has

  • Sponsored a series of two-day seminars called CCC Leadership Institutes, designed to help cancer control leaders complete CCC plans and implement specific strategies in the plans.

  • Conducted Planning Assistance Team visits, which offer targeted assistance to specific states, tribes, and territories that are experiencing unique challenges in their CCC efforts.

  • Maintained Cancer Control P.L.A.N.E.T., a Web portal that provides tools for CCC planners, including state cancer profiles and links to all CCC plans.

  • Launched,* a Web site designed to provide cancer control planners with practical information and resources, including the ability to connect with one another.


Since 1998, the number of programs participating in the NCCCP has increased from 6 to 65. Ninety-nine percent of the 65 CCC programs are in various stages of implementation.

Effective strategies for reducing cancer deaths and the number of new cases of cancer include ensuring that evidence-based screening tests and treatments are available and accessible, and reducing behavioral and environmental risk factors. Read examples of CCC programs in action.

Ongoing Work

During fiscal year 2008–2009, CDC will continue to:

  • Provide seed money to help initiate and enhance CCC programs' activities.
  • Offer ongoing technical assistance to programs that are developing and implementing CCC plans, including how to evaluate CCC to identify and measure accomplishments.
  • Support partnerships that strengthen cancer control at the national, state and local levels.
  • Broaden awareness of the CCC concept and its benefits.

Collectively, these accomplishments will improve the health of people in every stage of life—one of CDC's primary health-protection goals.

These and other public health efforts address the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Healthy People 2010 goals of reducing the overall cancer death rate to 159.9 deaths per 100,000 people, and increasing the proportion of health care providers who counsel their at-risk patients about tobacco use cessation, physical activity, and cancer screening.

Future Directions

CDC plans to conduct research and surveillance activities that will develop and evaluate comprehensive approaches to cancer prevention and control. Results will guide interventions designed to address cross-cutting issues (such as health disparities and survivorship) at state, tribal, and territorial levels.

Some of the projects already planned or underway will:

  • Evaluate components of state cancer plans, and report on selected topics and issues covered by the plans.

  • Evaluate national CCC outcomes.

  • Develop specific program performance measures that reflect the outcomes being achieved through CCC.

  • Assist states in determining the probable costs of implementing their cancer plans, and in defining strategies to obtain necessary resources.

  • Conduct research to determine successful implementation strategies for CCC.


1Heron MP, Smith BL. Kung H-C, Hoyert DL, Xu J, Murphy SL. Deaths: Final data for 2005. (PDF-808KB) National Vital Statistics Reports 2008;56(10).

2American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts and Figures 2008.* Atlanta, GA: American Cancer Society; 2008.

3U.S. Cancer Statistics Working Group. United States Cancer Statistics: 2004 Incidence and Mortality. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Washington, D.C.: National Cancer Institute; 2007.

4National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Fact Book, Fiscal Year 2006. Bethesda, MD: National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute; 2007.

5U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Screening for Colorectal Cancer. Recommendations and Rationale. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; 2002.

6U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Screening for Breast Cancer. Recommendations and Rationale. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; 2002.

7U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Screening for Cervical Cancer. Recommendations and Rationale. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; 2003.

PDF Icon Please note: Some of these publications are available for download only as *.pdf files. These files require Adobe Acrobat Reader in order to be viewed. Please review the information on downloading and using Acrobat Reader software.

*Links to non-Federal organizations found at this site are provided solely as a service to our users. These links do not constitute an endorsement of these organizations or their programs by CDC or the Federal Government, and none should be inferred. CDC is not responsible for the content of the individual organization Web pages found at these links.

Page last reviewed: November 25, 2008
Page last updated: November 25, 2008
Content source: Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
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