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California Cancer Registry (CCR)

Mission Statement & Purpose

The mission of the California Cancer Registry is to serve the public by collecting statewide data, and conducting surveillance and research into the causes, controls, and cures of cancer and communicating results to the public.

About Us

CCR is a collaborative effort among the California Department of Public Health’s Chronic Disease Surveillance and Research Branch (CDSRB), the Institute for Population Health Improvement (IPHI), regional cancer registries, health care providers, cancer registrars, and cancer researchers throughout California and the nation.  CDSRB collects, analyzes, and disseminates information on cancer incidence and mortality.  The statewide population-based cancer surveillance system monitors the incidence and mortality of specific cancers over time and analyzes differential cancer risks cancer by geographic region, age, race/ethnicity, sex, and other social characteristics of the population.  It gathers cancer incidence data through CCR, and conducts and collaborates with other researchers on special cancer research projects concerning the etiology, treatment, risk factors, and prevention of specific cancers.   In addition, the system is designed to monitor patient survival with respect to the type of cancer, extent of disease, therapy, demographics, and other parameters of prognostic importance.   In general, data generated from CCR are utilized to:


  • Monitor the amount of cancer and cancer incidence trends by geographic area and time in order to detect potential cancer problems of public health significance in occupational settings and the environment, and to assist in their investigation,
  • Provide information to stimulate the development and targeting of resources to benefit local communities, cancer patients, and their families.
  • Promote high quality research into epidemiology and clinical medicine by enabling population-based studies to be performed to provide better information for cancer control.
  • Inform health professionals and educate citizens regarding specific health risks, early detection, and treatment for cancers known to be elevated in their communities.
  • Respond to public concerns and questions about cancer.

In California, legislation declaring mandatory cancer reporting became effective in 1985.   Beginning in January 1988, under the Statewide Cancer Reporting Law (Section 103885 of the Health and Safety Code), CCR has covered the entire population of California through the regional population-based registries.

Cancer Reporting in California - Timeline

  • 1947  California Tumor Registry established in selected large hospitals
  • 1960  Alameda County Cancer Registry established as the first population-based cancer registry in California
  • 1969  San Francisco Bay Area Registry included in National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Third National Cancer Survey
  • 1972  Cancer Surveillance Program (CSP) of Los Angeles County established
  • 1973  San Francisco Bay Area Registry included in NCI’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program
  • 1983  Cancer Surveillance Program of Orange County established
  • 1985  California Cancer Reporting Law signed into effect (CCR established)
  • 1988  Population-based cancer reporting initiated statewide
  • 1992  CSP of Los Angeles County included in SEER Program
  • 1997  50 years of cancer reporting in California
  • 2000  Published ten years of complete statewide cancer reporting
  • 2001  Greater California Registry included in SEER Program
  • 2007  20 years of statewide population-based cancer reporting
  • 2009  Published 20 years of complete statewide cancer reporting
    Source: California Cancer Registry

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