GIS/Atlas Cancer Research

Cancer Prevention and Control

PA Colorectal and Prostate Cancer Facts:

  • Cancer is the second leading cause of death in PA.

Colorectal Cancer

  • Among the 50 US states and the District of Columbia during 2000, PA had the 9th highest age-adjusted CRC mortality rate (; accessed 5/4/03).
  • Similarly, PA had the 4th highest annual number of CRC cases, with only CA, FL, and NY being higher.
  • PA had the 4th highest number of CRC deaths.
  • The PA Health Department predicts that there are 24 new cases of colon/rectal cancer and 10 deaths from colon/rectal cancer every day in PA.
  • The PA Health Department predicted that in PA, there would be 8,920 new colorectal cancer cases and 3,350 deaths from colorectal cancer in 2003.

Prostate Cancer

  • Using similar comparisons of states and the District of Columbia, PA had the 16th highest rate of incident prostate cancer.
  • PA ranked 24th highest in age-adjusted death rate from prostate cancer, but with the 5th highest number of prostate cancer deaths.
  • Within PA during 2000, the prostate was the leading site for cancer death among men. The burden from prostate cancer in PA is very high.
  • The PA Health Department predicts that there are 30 new cases of prostate cancer and 4 deaths from prostate cancer every day in PA.
  • The PA Health Department predicted that in PA, there would be 10,820 new prostate cancer cases and 1,555 deaths from prostate cancer in 2003.

General Facts About Colorectal Cancer:

General Facts About Prostate Cancer:

PA Cancer Registry:

The Pennsylvania Cancer Registry (PCR) was implemented in stages beginning with the south central area in July 1982; the southeastern area in March 1983; the western area in January 1984; and the northwestern area in September in 1984. Data for these regions are available since implementation, but 1985 is the first full year data are available for the entire state.

PCR data was certified by the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries for completeness, timeliness, and quality of its 1997, 1998, and 1999 data. PCR data produce five standard cancer reports on an annual basis. These reports include descriptive statistics at the state and county levels. In 1999, a special report entitled Analysis of Female Cancer Screening Behaviors for Health Districts, 1993-1997, and a pamphlet entitled A Guide to What's Available and Where To Find: Cancer Incidence and Mortality Statistics for Pennsylvania, were also produced. The Bureau of Health Statistics has been creating electronic versions of PCR published reports for the Pennsylvania Department of Health Website.

This initiative has been well received and has made cancer statistics more easily accessible to data requestors. The Bureau of Health Statistics receives approximately 250 requests annually for cancer statistics not contained in the published reports. These requests come from government agencies, educational institutions, planning and research organizations, and concerned citizens.

Comprehensive Cancer Control

Comprehensive Cancer Control (CCC) is "an integrated and coordinated approach to reducing cancer incidence, morbidity, and mortality through prevention (primary prevention) early detection (secondary prevention), treatment, rehabilitation, and palliation." (CDC, Guidance for Comprehensive Cancer Control Planning. 3/25/02). CCC emphasizes the integration of many disciplines; including the sciences of epidemiology, geography, statistics, and health communications as well as administration, public policy, and clinical services.

In October 2001, the Pennsylvania Department of Health launched the Pennsylvania Cancer Control Consortium (PAC3) to develop the first-ever Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan for the Commonwealth. Comprised of twenty-one stakeholders and DOH staff, an Executive Team has established PAC3 membership of 130 stakeholders from over 60 diverse organizations. PAC3 membership includes heads of government and non-profit agencies, the insurance industry, communications specialists, the business community, cancer survivors, researchers, and academia. PAC3 members share a commitment, capacity, and expertise important to fight against cancer in public, private, and non-profit arenas. Eight PAC3 workgroups are active: 

  • Access to Health Care
  • Cancer Information Management
  • Care Delivery
  • Healthy Lifestyles and Prevention
  • Quality of Life Research
  • Screening
  • Tobacco Prevention and Control

This new planning process has begun a new era for cancer control in Pennsylvania. The Plan will be a comprehensive statewide blueprint for meeting the growing challenge of cancer control among all sectors of Pennsylvania. Compared to previous plans, the upcoming Plan will have greater depth, scope, and shared resources and will be much broader in design, authorship, and scope. The PAC3 workgroups are currently finalizing the Plan's content, including identification of key issues and concerns, prioritization of goals (including surveillance and analysis), identification of objectives, development of strategies. You can access The Pennsylvania Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan via this link:

You can find more information on comprehensive cancer control via the CDC comprehensive cancer control web page: