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
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.
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 State of Aging and Health in America provides a snapshot of progress in promoting prevention, improving
the health and well-being of older adults, and reducing behaviors that contribute to premature death and disability.
This 2020 study by AARP and the National Alliance for Caregiving highlights the varied experiences and situations of caregivers in the United States and points to the impacts many caregivers face as a result of their stepping up to help
family and friends.
This report from the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC) in partnership with Caring Across Generations illuminates
the challenges facing working parents who are providing intergenerational care.
The report From Insight to Advocacy: Addressing Family Caregivers as a National Public Health Issue, from the National Alliance for Caregiving, describes family caregiving
and the major caregiving issues affecting public health, including actions that can be taken specifically by state and local coalitions, health systems, and policymakers. The report also cites common data sources, identifies
barriers to providing care within the aging network, and offers strategies on what caregiving advocates can do to get engaged.
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.