Originally established in 1983 as an independent cancer surveillance program under the supervision of researchers at the University of California, Irvine, the Cancer Surveillance Program of Orange County (CSPOC) has been at the vanguard of the cancer surveillance systems critically needed in order to conduct the important scientific research that, in turn, leads to better public health, better cancer awareness and disease prevention overall.
The California Cancer Registry (CCR) collects information about almost all cancers diagnosed in California. This information furthers our understanding of cancer and is used to develop strategies and policies for its prevention, treatment, and control. The availability of these data on cancer in the state allows health researchers to analyze demographic and geographic factors that affect cancer risk, early detection, and effective treatment of cancer patients. The data also help determine where early detection, educational, and other cancer-related programs should be directed. There has now been mandatory reporting of all new reportable cancer diagnoses in California since 1988. Today, the CCR is recognized as one of the most respected and leading cancer registries in the world, and has been the cornerstone of a substantial amount of research on cancer, especially in the California population.
The Cancer Surveillance Program of Orange County (CSPOC), established at UC Irvine in 1983, pre-dates current state legislation. Originally, many hospitals voluntarily participated in CSPOC's data collection effort. However, researchers at UC Irvine, working alongside the Orange County Board of Supervisors and concerned local citizens, were determined to find a means to raise awareness of the extent of the ongoing tragedy caused by cancer in our local population. As fruition of this diligent effort, in the early 1980's, the Orange County Board of Supervisors declared cancer to be a reportable disease within the county. Based on this mutual vision, Orange County became one of the early pioneers of what would eventually become a statewide registry and the model to provide a focus for scientists, clinicians and members of the health-care community to promote cancer prevention and control in the county. Shortly after the CSPOC was started, legislation at the State level in 1985 made cancer a reportable disease throughout the state and designated CSPOC as the model regional registry for the system to emulate. Following the 1985 State legislation, CSPOC and the San Diego/Imperial Organization for Cancer Control (SANDIOCC) became designated regions of the California Cancer Registry.
Initially, as part of the California-wide cancer reporting system, CSPOC / SANDIOCC received information on all cancers diagnosed among residents of the region at any facility in California. Incidence data were periodically checked against state mortality files conditioned on cancer as the cause of death. Since 2008, the California Cancer Registry assumed the collection of incidence data for Orange, San Diego, and Imperial Counties. UCI continues to receive data for research from the CCR.