The Arizona Cancer Registry and Office of Cancer Prevention and Control received good news last week from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – their grant application was approved for a total of $3,930,027 per year for the next five years.  This represents a 13.5% increase in funds of $466,909 per year.  The five-year grant period extends through June 29, 2022.

The Cancer Programs’ five-year grant application consisted of three components: 1) the Well Woman HealthCheck Program; 2) Comprehensive Cancer Control Program; and 3) Arizona Cancer Registry. The programs’ application received a near-perfect score of 290 out of 300 possible points from the CDC grant review team. The Arizona Cancer Registry and Office of Cancer Prevention and Control work extremely closely to address the burden of cancer in Arizona. The programs produce multiple Community Profiles together that describe various cancers and cancer-related issues, including the ASTHO Breast Cancer Learning Community report, which examines the breast cancer mortality gap among women in our state.

In the new grant period, the Arizona Cancer Registry and Cancer Prevention and Control have set some goals to collaboratively reduce the burden of cancer in Arizona. Cancer causes more than 210 Arizonans to die every week and more than 28,000 Arizonans are diagnosed with cancer each year.  Yet, the screening rates for the few screenable cancers are lower than they should be.  Cancer Prevention and Control will work with partners across the state to monitor and increase screening rates for breast, cervical and colorectal cancers.

African American, Hispanic and Native American women in Arizona are diagnosed with breast cancer at a younger age.  They also tend to be diagnosed with more aggressive breast cancers resulting in higher mortality rates.  Increasing the screening rates for these populations will be a focal point of Cancer Prevention and Control efforts over the next five years.

Providers and organizations are required to report cancer cases to the Arizona Cancer Registry; that is how Arizona’s cancer burden is determined. When it was discovered that melanoma was under reported by 70% in Arizona, the Melanoma Task Force and Arizona Cancer Registry worked with dermatologists across the state to improve reporting and the reporting process.  After several years of collaborative efforts, providers have increased their reporting significantly.  Due to this success and national recognition from the CDC, the Arizona Cancer Registry will now apply that same type of approach to prostate and breast cancer reporting.

During this grant award, the programs will be also be expanding the Arizona Cancer Leadership Team to include inter-agency programs such as the Office of Tobacco Control, Office of Chronic Disease, Office of HIV Prevention, the Health Disparities Center, and more. The Arizona Cancer Leadership Team will allow ADHS to enhance its internal collaborative opportunities and increase the reach for public health prevention efforts.