By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

Cancer control is a term often used by the media, medical centers, and organizations like the American Cancer Society. But it’s sometimes hard to describe what it is. That’s why we’re explaining what cancer control is, what its goals are, what cancer control programs do, and what the results of successful cancer control look like.

What It Is: Cancer control focuses on reducing the number of people who get cancer, have complications from it, and die from it. It uses approaches that have been tested through research to control the number of cancer cases as well as the effects of cancer. Cancer control programs work to find and use the most effective ways to:

Prevent cancer


Reduce the risk of cancer

Find cancer earlier

Improve cancer treatments

Help more people survive cancer

Improve the quality of life for people who have cancer

 Its Goal: The goal of cancer control is to reduce the cancer burden. That means preventing cancer and decreasing how cancer impacts a community, family, and individual.

Understanding Cancer Burden: Cancer burden looks at the number of cancer cases and the effects of cancer in a country, community, family, or one person. Comprehensive cancer control programs look at cancer burden in a whole population or group, while also taking into account the needs of different people in the group that have certain risk factors for cancer.

Source: Center for Disease Control

See the full report and a cancer control directory here: