Cancer is a group of diseases characterized by uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells. If the spread is not controlled, it may result in death. Most types of cancer cells form a lump or mass called a tumor and are named after the part of the body where the tumor originates. Cancer is caused by both external and internal factors.
In the years to come, cancer will affect approximately three of every four Missouri families. Men have a one in three lifetime risk of developing cancer and one in five risk of dying from cancer. Women have a one in three lifetime risk of developing cancer and one in five risk of dying from cancer.
In 2015, 32,465 of Missouri’s residents were diagnosed with invasive cancer. This amounted to about four new cases of cancer diagnosed every hour of every day.
With an average of 12,537 deaths annually (individuals 45 and older) during 2016-2017, cancer is second only to heart disease as a leading cause of death among adult Missourians. Specific cancer data for Missouri and for individual counties can be accessed at: BRFSS or Cancer MICA.
Cancer Screening and Prevention
Comprehensive Cancer Control Program
Missouri’s Comprehensive Cancer Control Program (CCCP) is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and provides leadership for, and coordination of, our state’s comprehensive cancer control efforts.
Comprehensive cancer control describes the collaboration between communities and their partners with a common goal of reducing the burden of cancer. These efforts help to:
- reduce cancer risk;
- find cancers early;
- improve treatment; and
- improve the quality of life of cancer survivors.
The CDC established the National Comprehensive Cancer Control Program (NCCCP) in 1998 to assist states in the creation of coalitions to fight cancer. These coalitions collaborate to determine the greatest cancer-related needs in their states and develop and carry out cancer plans to meet those needs.
Missouri Cancer Action Plan
Missouri’s CCCP publishes The Burden of Cancer in Missouri, A Comprehensive Analysis and Plan 2016-2020 every five years, which includes the Missouri Cancer Action Plan. Missouri’s Cancer Action Plan focuses on national evidence-based interventions to:
- foster policy, system and environmental changes that encourage and assist people to live a healthy lifestyle and reduce risk behaviors;
- promote cancer screenings;
- increase access to good cancer care; and
- improve the quality of life of cancer survivors.
Missouri Cancer Inquiry
The goal of the cancer inquiry (CI) process is to work with individuals or communities in exploring the nature of their cancer concern, provide health education on cancer risk factors, and, when appropriate, provide epidemiological information. DHSS staff, in consultation with the chronic disease public health epidemiologist and the CI committee, works with the local public health agencies and the communities. Staff or regional cancer coalition members may give educational presentations in locations with a cancer concern and may help to address the specific needs of that community.
The CI process focuses on determining if a perceived excess is real. If a true cluster is identified, then the CI staff will assist in the implementation of epidemiological studies, notify agencies responsible for remediation of an environmental hazard (if one exists), and educate residents in the area of concern regarding the risk and the response of state government and other agencies concerning cancer in their community.
General Notes About Cancer and Cancer Clusters:
- Cancer is not one disease. Different cancers, like other chronic diseases, have different causes and risk factors.
- Cancer is very common. More than one in three women, and nearly one in two men will be affected by some type of cancer in their lifetime.
- Age, family history (genetics) and lifestyle factors (diet, exercise, alcohol or tobacco use) are usually more important risk factors for cancer than environmental contamination.
- Clustering can still be a random occurrence, even when statistical tests indicate that cancer cases are higher than expected.
Evaluations and Reports
- ACA Cancer Prevention Summary (May 2017)
- Campaign to Increase Colorectal Cancer Screening and Decrease Smoking in St. Francois County
- Campaign to Increase Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening in McDonald County
- Cancer Control Environmental Scan: An Internal Assessment
- Carter County Radon Follow-up Initiative
- Comprehensive Cancer Control Program Year 1 (2017-2018) Evaluation Report
- Comprehensive Cancer Control Program 5 Year (2017-2022) Plan
- Missouri Cancer Action Plan Progress Update 2011-2020
- Prostate Cancer White Paper (August 2019)
Life Savers - Programs For You!
Live Like Your Life Depends On It
Information and resources to help Missourians live longer and healthier lives.
Organ & Tissue Donation
Learn how to join the Missouri organ and tissue donor registry.
Show Me Healthy Women
Early detection saves lives. Get breast and cervical cancer screenings.
Get access to health screenings and lifestyle education that can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Missouri Tobacco Quitline
Access to counseling, information and referrals for smokers who want to quit using tobacco.