National Cancer Institute NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
October 6, 2009 • Volume 6 / Number 19

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Cancer.gov Update

Cancer.gov Highlights Breast Cancer Awareness Month

The White House has issued a presidential proclamation designating October National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. As the federal government’s leading funding institution for cancer research, NCI supports a wide range of research to improve breast cancer prevention, detection, and treatment. NCI also funds research on follow-up care for the growing number of breast cancer survivors. Learn more about recent advances and selected resources on NCI’s Web site.

Cancer Control Publications home pageSearchable Database for Cancer Control Publications Now Available

NCI’s Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS) has launched CC Publications, a searchable database that includes information on publications authored by the division’s staff, grantees, and contract-funded investigators. The database, which currently includes publications from 2005 to 2007, demonstrates the depth and breadth of recent research funded by DCCPS. CC Publications was developed to facilitate literature reviews, share information on the state of the science, communicate the return on investment to NCI stakeholders and constituents, and help researchers identify gaps in knowledge in order to write novel grant applications.

New Statistical Software Aids Health Disparities Research

The Health Disparities Calculator (HD*Calc) is a new statistical software program designed to generate data summaries to evaluate and monitor health disparities (HD). HD*Calc can be used as an extension of SEER*Stat, which allows users to easily import Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) incidence data and National Center for Health Statistics mortality data. Alternatively, on its own, it can be used with other population-based health data. HD*Calc allows researchers to use a range of HD measures and tests them in different situations.

Cross-sectional and trend data (e.g., cancer rates, survival, stage at diagnosis) categorized by disparity group (including socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, and geographic area) can be used with HD*Calc to generate 11 summary measures of disparity. Several of these measures are not commonly used to evaluate cancer-related health disparities. The output is presented in both tabular and graphic formats allowing users to specify different conditions and formats, and the tables and graphs can be exported from the program. In addition to summary measures, HD*Calc also allows users to explore underlying trends in the data. Tutorials available on the Web site allow users to gain experience with the software.

The application extends the work published in the NCI Cancer Surveillance Monograph Series entitled Methods for Measuring Cancer Disparities, which evaluates measures of health disparities included in HD*Calc.