Cancer surveillance is the most well-established and extensive disease surveillance network in the United States. The Tracking Network is making cancer incidence data easier to use by integrating the information with other health outcome data and environmental data. Tracking can add to existing public health surveillance of cancer by examining potential ecological relationships with environmental exposures.
The Tracking Network uses several sources to get state and local data about cancer incidence. These sources include other CDC programs and the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
Centralized cancer registries in the United States conduct population-based surveillance of cancer incidence and mortality. State health departments, which are funded by CDC’s National Program of Cancer Registries and NCI’s Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results Program, collect cancer incidence data.
These data must be used carefully because there are some limitations, including:
- Counts and rates are calculated based on residence at time of diagnosis. No information is available on previous residences.
- No personal information, including smoking history, obesity, or history of cancer, is available.