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Cancer Programs


Cancer is a collection of related diseases in which some body cells divide without stopping and spread into surrounding tissues. Certain cancerous growths are called tumors.

CDC funds NACDD to address the issue of cancer prevention and control in the public health arena. Project activities range from monitoring the impact of changes in the healthcare system to looking into more effective communications for cancer patients post diagnosis. The NACDD Cancer Council meets regularly and provides training and professional development opportunities for staff in CDC-funded cancer programs in State Health Departments.

How You Can Join in the NACDD Cancer Effort

Join the NACDD Cancer Council calls to stay up-to-date on projects and opportunities.

Contact Randy Schwartz to learn more about the Cancer Council and the many ways you can participate.

NACDD Action on Cancer

NACDD is working on state cancer program transformation in several ways. NACDD implemented actions that identified real-time opportunities to improve breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening, follow-up diagnostics, and access to treatment. NACDD monitors the Impact of the Changing Healthcare Policy Environment on State Cancer Programs at the national and state levels, assisting state cancer prevention and control programs in identifying new opportunities to promote and increase appropriate cancer screening.

Additionally, NACDD increased communication between CDC and state programs regarding emerging policies, practices, and delivery models to enhance screening. In collaboration with the CDC Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, NACDD is using a participatory partnership approach to improve future surveillance of shared decision-making for breast, prostate, and lung cancer screening, forming three work groups to reach consensus by developing a conceptual framework for each cancer type. A new brand identity and communication strategy and tool, developed by NACDD after a multi-step research effort, will help CDC and state grantees increase stakeholder understanding, support, and participation in the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program and the Colorectal Cancer Control Program.

Innovative Communication Work

Interactive Cancer Education Tools for Patients and Survivors

Surviving cancer is an enormous accomplishment. Staying healthy to live an active, productive life is the next step in any survivor’s journey. The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have developed engaging, interactive coaching conversations with computer animated virtual humans that will answer your questions and guide you to a life of continued health. To learn more about these tools visit,


The NACDD Innovative Communication in Cancer Prevention and Control Project

The NACDD Innovative Communication in Cancer Prevention and Control project focused on two health communication scenarios for the Southeastern United States. In the first scenario, public service announcements featuring Joan Lunden addressing Triple Negative Breast Cancer and a virtual reality simulation named, “Talk to Someone: Triple Negative Breast Cancer,” provided new tools for healthcare professionals and public health practitioners in need of innovative ways to help people make decisions about healthcare. In the second scenario, two colorectal cancer public service announcements that encourage adults to receive proper screening for colorectal cancer were broadcast in outpatient waiting rooms by CBS and Health Media Network.

Needs Assessment on Skin Cancer Messaging: African-American and Hispanic Adults


An NACDD-conducted needs assessment on skin cancer messaging aimed at African-American and Hispanic adults aged 18-44 years, included holding focus groups with 159 participants. The assessment provided guidance on whether to adapt or develop materials and messages and guided the methods of delivery for meeting the needs of both target populations.

Provider Simulation for Survivor Distress Screening

Studies show that few specialty or primary care providers of cancer care are engaging in routine discussions with patients about psychosocial concerns or treatment options. To address this treatment gap, NACDD and CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control are partnering and leveraging the expertise of Kognito to develop an interactive, online, CME-accredited, health simulation training for healthcare providers to teach them how to have discussions about mental health distress management and to provide supportive resources for cancer survivors.

Cancer Prevention Across the Lifespan

NACDD is working with CDC's Division of Cancer Prevention and Control to foster innovative public health approaches to cancer prevention. Building on past work, the purpose of this five-year project is to develop resources that will empower public health practitioners and community leaders to implement evidence-based strategies to reduce cancer risk in their communities by making it easier for people to reduce exposure to carcinogens and adopt healthy behaviors where they live, work, learn, and play.

The first year of this project is focused on four key areas:




The Evaluation Plan will be developed and implemented over the course of the five-year project period.

More information about the previous work of the CPAL workgroup is available on the CDC website.

Additional Cancer Partners

NACDD is a member of the Comprehensive Cancer Control National Partnership, which is dedicated to supporting state programs and cancer coalitions in their comprehensive efforts to prevent and control cancer. The Partnership is 20 years old and has 19 partner organizations. NACDD also is a member of One Voice Against Cancer – a coalition of national organizations that support federal funding for cancer research and prevention programs. Special emphasis is on funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Cancer Institute. NACDD also has membership in the National Colorectal Cancer Round Table, which supports efforts to reach at least 80% of the eligible population needing screening at regular intervals for colorectal cancer.

Working with Kognito, a health simulation company, and Westat, a research and analysis firm, NACDD is exploring innovative ways for healthcare providers to communicate complex health information about early onset breast cancer and breast health to women younger than 45 years of age who are making decisions about their care. The objective is development of two role-play conversations with virtual humans, one for providers for educational purposes and another for women under 45 years of age who have questions about their risk factors for breast cancer.

National Association of Chronic Disease Directors
325 Swanton Way
Decatur, GA 30030
(770) 458-7400
Hours of Operation: Mon. - Fri., 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.