New Web-based tools for developing comprehensive cancer control programs released
As part of a public-private effort, the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) today announced new Web-based tools for comprehensive cancer control planning, implementation, and evaluation. All of the tools are available through a new Web portal called the Cancer Control PLANET (Plan, Link, Act, Network with Evidence-based Tools) and were developed in collaboration with the American Cancer Society (ACS). PLANET (http://cancercontrolplanet.cancer.gov) serves as a doorway to new evidence-based tools that can help communities better understand and address their cancer burden.
According to PLANET development team director, Jon Kerner, Ph.D. of NCI, “Cancer control programs at the state and community level are often developed on an 'ad hoc' basis. PLANET helps take the guesswork out of program planning and implementation by providing easy access to a set of evidence-based tools – including the latest cancer and risk factor statistics and research-tested programs.”
Comprehensive cancer control is an integrated and coordinated approach to reducing incidence, morbidity and mortality through prevention, early detection, treatment, and rehabilitation. States and communities can use these tools to plan, implement and evaluate evidence-based comprehensive cancer control programs to help minimize suffering and death from cancer.
Cancer control programs often have prevention at their core. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently held a national summit in Baltimore, Md., Steps to a HealthierUS: Putting Prevention First, to highlight policies that promote health and focus attention on the urgency of prevention. According to HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson, "The launch of PLANET is important because many of its key elements can be used to advance the goals of our 'Steps to a HealthierUS'."
Through PLANET, cancer control planners, program staff, and researchers can answer important questions using these five key steps:
Step 1 – Assess Program Priorities (Whom do you want to reach?) Identify populations at risk with data from NCI and CDC's new State Cancer Profiles Web site. This user-friendly site provides interactive examples of cancer, risk factors, and demographic statistics for the nation, states, and counties, and can help target efforts toward specific cancer types, geographic areas or population groups at greatest risk of developing or dying from cancer.
Step 2 – Identify Potential Partners (With whom do you want to work?) Find partners for comprehensive cancer control using regional, state, and territorial contact information for the United States. This Web site was developed collaboratively by the ACS, CDC and NCI.
Step 3 – Determine Effectiveness of Different Intervention Approaches (What works?) Examine different intervention approaches to reducing cancer incidence and mortality through the CDC's Guide to Community Preventive Services. This site links to information about changing health risk behaviors and addressing specific health conditions and the environment in which they occur.
Step 4 – Find Research-Tested Intervention Programs (RTIPs) (What tested programs and products are available for immediate use?) Find research-tested cancer prevention and control intervention programs and products, many of which can be downloaded or ordered free of charge. The RTIPs Web site was developed collaboratively by NCI and SAMHSA.
Step 5 – Plan and Evaluate Your Program (What guidelines are available to assist in planning and evaluating comprehensive cancer control programs?) Tools include the CDC Guidance for Comprehensive Cancer Control Planning.
This launch is just the beginning for the PLANET Web portal. In addition to the currently available resources on tobacco control and physical activity, in the near future PLANET will include resources on sun safety; breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screening; informed decision-making interventions for screening where benefits are uncertain (e.g., prostate cancer); and '5 to 9 A Day' fruit and vegetable dietary interventions. The overall goal is to speed the translation of science into practice and close the gap between research discovery and program delivery, thereby helping to deliver the highest quality cancer control services to all who need them.