About Comprehensive Cancer Control

With a better understanding of the common underlying issues related to maintaining health, we collapsed 14 state plans, one of which was the Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan, into one Washington State Plan for Healthy Communities.

This statewide plan for building Healthy Communities will align our priorities and strategies with national, state, and local prevention efforts. It will be a road-map for implementing chronic disease prevention efforts in our communities.

The Washington State Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan (PDF) is a guide for prevention and control efforts to reduce the burden of cancer in Washington. The Plan includes goals, objectives, and strategies to address the broad spectrum of cancer issues.


Comprehensive Cancer Control is a collaborative process that allows a community to pool resources to reduce the burden of cancer. This results in:

  • Risk reduction.
  • Early detection.
  • Better treatment.
  • Enhanced survivorship.

Why was Comprehensive Cancer Control Started?

Not very long ago, cancer was a death sentence. This began to change with the passage of the 1971 National Cancer Act. This act established the government's commitment to cancer research. The resulting research, which focused on particular cancer sites (breast, lung, prostate, etc.), led to a greater understanding of how cancer works, tests for detecting cancer earlier, and better treatments.

While this "site-specific" approach is necessary for success, it is not sufficient to address the nation's cancer burden—not when many Americans:

  • Are diagnosed with cancers that could have been prevented.
  • Are diagnosed with late-stage disease.
  • Do not have access to or receive recommended treatment.
  • Do not experience optimal quality of life.

For these reasons, state and national organizations began linking cancer prevention and control programs to fight cancer more effectively a decade ago.

Why is Comprehensive Cancer Control Important?

Comprehensive cancer control is about people working together to identify problems and develop solutions to better use limited resources and create better outcomes, because:

  • No one can do it alone. A united front against cancer can tackle major issues—like better access to quality care, survivorship, health disparities, and quality of life. These are too broad and crosscutting for any one organization to confront alone.
  • Significant gaps exist. There are gaps in what is known and what is being done to solve cancer problems. We can improve awareness of current cancer care services and resources. Access to, and availability of, quality cancer care varies across the state. A cooperative approach leads to better coordination and more efficiency in cancer prevention and control efforts.
  • Significant disparities exist. Cancer impacts some people more than others. Coordination and integration of statewide efforts helps ensure that underserved populations are not overlooked.
  • We haven't won yet. Overall rates of new cancer cases and cancer deaths have been declining. However, as the population of Washington ages, the number of new cases and deaths are expected to increase.

Find out more about comprehensive cancer control

Washington CARES About Cancer Partnership

In 2001, the state formed the Comprehensive Cancer Control Partnership. Since then, the name changed to Washington CARES About Cancer Partnership which stands for Community Action, Research, and Evidence-based Systems. It is a diverse group of organizations and individuals. They represent public and private stakeholders in Washington interested in cancer prevention and control. The Department of Health is one stakeholder in the Partnership. We provide fiscal, operational, and technical support.


The Partnership consists of a task force, a coalition and a committee:

  • Breast, Cervical and Colorectal Cancer Screening Task Force
  • Washington State Prostate Cancer Coalition
  • Cancer Survivorship Committee


To keep up with the latest research and to find up to date educational resources for professionals and classes and support groups for cancer patients and caregivers, please check out the Washington CARES About Cancer website and sign up for our Cancer Connection newsletter.

Questions or comments?

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