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Cancer Surveillance Program of Orange County

Originally established in 1983 as an independent cancer surveillance program under the supervision of UC Irvine researchers, the Cancer Surveillance Program of Orange County (CSPOC) has been in the vanguard of critically needed surveillance systems that conduct important scientific research, which leads in turn 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 to prevent, treat and control cancer.

Cancer data helps detection, treatment

The data allows state health researchers to analyze demographic and geographic factors that affect cancer risk, early detection and effective treatments for 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 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.

Program history

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 with the Orange County Board of Supervisors and concerned residents, were determined to find a means to raise awareness about the impact of cancer on our local population.

As this effort came to fruition in the early 1980s, the Orange County Board of Supervisors declared cancer a reportable disease. Based on this mutual vision, Orange County became one of the early pioneers of a statewide registry and a model giving focus for scientists, clinicians and members of the Orange County healthcare community to promote cancer prevention and control.

Shortly after the CSPOC was started, state legislators made cancer a reportable disease in 1985 and designated CSPOC as the model regional registry to emulate. CSPOC and the San Diego/Imperial Organization for Cancer Control (SANDIOCC) soon were designated as 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.

UC Irvine continues to receive data for research from the CCR.