If your Heart is in Helping – What is a Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan?
Contributed by, Cindy Chafin
NOU Magazine Project Director, Middle Tennessee State University Center for Health and Human Services Interim Director, and Tennessee Cancer Coalition State Coordinator
February is here and all I can think about is hearts! I decorate for every holiday so already have a big Valentine’s wreath on my door, flags in the front and back gardens, heart-shaped topiaries on the kitchen bar, and I also will order anything heart-themed when I go out for a treat or meal (Love those Chick-fil-A heart-shaped biscuits). I have a big heart for people and animals, as do many of my family, friends, and colleagues. Especially when it comes to cancer. I know no one who has not been impacted in some way by cancer.
There is no time better than February to find it in your heart to make a difference in your local community. Did you know that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides support for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, 7 tribes and tribal organizations, and 7 territories and U.S. Pacific Island jurisdictions to produce a comprehensive cancer control plan? These plans identify how an organization addresses cancer burden as a significant public health challenge. The plans are data-driven, evidence-based blueprints for action. These plans guide cancer control activities and typically cover a five-year time frame.
So far, there have been 65 plans produced. In addition to these plans, the Cancer Council of the Pacific Islands developed a Pacific Regional Plan. I happen to reside in Tennessee. Born and raised here and love my home state. We have a state cancer plan, and a lot of community partners to help us carry out the goals and objectives in that state plan. I will be sharing more in future articles about some of the wonderful things going on in our state to address cancer control and prevention both with our state cancer coalition as well as other community partners. For now, I want to make everyone aware that their state, tribe, or territory likely has a cancer plan as well. Visit the CDC’s website at http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/ncccp/ccc_plans.htm to view all of the cancer plans.
Have a heart! Do your part to address the burden of cancer in YOUR state, tribe, or territory and check out the cancer plans t o see how YOU can make a difference in your community!