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CDC’s Public Health Surveillance of Cancer
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    Routine data collection efforts are a necessary, often underappreciated, component of nearly all cancer research and prevention efforts. Public health cancer surveillance data are crucial for identifying needs, planning interventions, directing public health resources, and evaluating the overall effectiveness of initiatives aimed at preventing or treating cancer and its negative health consequences. As the nation's health protection agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides resources for disease surveillance systems to help protect our nation against expensive and dangerous health threats, including cancer. Therefore, public health surveillance is a core function of CDC. In this article we briefly describe CDC's approach to cancer surveillance in our public health programs and other federal initiatives to monitor cancer-related outcomes. We also describe our premier cancer incidence surveillance system, the National Program of Cancer Registries, and discuss uses and applications of the program's critical cancer data.

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