Focus Areas

The Indiana Cancer Control Plan 2010-2014 consists of six focus areas, with one goal per area. It is within these focus areas that we pool resources from partners and key stakeholders around the state to reduce the burden of cancer in Indiana.

Goal: Decrease cancer risk through lifestyle behavioral interventions.

Individuals, organizations, and communities all contribute to primary prevention. Simply adopting specific lifestyle behaviors can significantly lower cancer risk. Healthy lifestyle behaviors include avoiding tobacco products and secondhand smoke, minimizing alcohol intake, following a balanced diet, exercising regularly, receiving recommended immunizations, and protecting against ultraviolet exposure. Other behaviors linked to cancer prevention include breastfeeding and practicing healthy sexual behavior. Empowering Hoosiers to adopt healthy lifestyles is a critical step toward cancer prevention.

Goal: Increase early detection and appropriate screening for cancer.

Early detection is a strong predictor of cancer survival; in general, the earlier the cancer is detected, the better the prognosis. Often, regular screenings save lives by identifying cancers when they are most curable and treatment has the highest success rate. Cancers that can be detected through early
screening include breast, colon, rectum, cervix, prostate, testis, oral cavity, and skin. Screening isn’t always without risk; it is important for Hoosiers to be informed decision-makers and talk to their primary health care providers about screening options.

Goal: Promote informed decision making and utilization of appropriate cancer treatment.

Successful treatment involves a partnership between health care providers, patients, and family members or caregivers. Understanding treatment options is key to helping patients experience greater satisfaction with their care and treatment. When patients understand the nature and risks of their cancer diagnosis, and potential risks and benefits of treatment, they can make informed decisions that are consistent with their personal preferences and values.

Goal: Improve quality of life for cancer patients, survivors, and their families.

Quality of life issues cut across every aspect of the cancer continuum, from prevention through palliation. It is not something that can be measured by a standardized set of criteria; it is subjective and determined by the patient. The impact of quality of life issues range from moderate to severe, and can occur in the short or long term.

Goal: Increase the quantity, quality, and availability of complete and timely cancer data.

Comprehensive and timely cancer data is critical to understanding cancer prevention and control. Incidence, mortality, and survival rates, as well as staging data, help identify cancer disparities and priorities – in short, without data, the ICC and the ICCP would lack focus and direction. In addition, Hoosiers need accurate, timely, and user-friendly data to make informed decisions regarding their health.

Goal: Advocate for cancer-related policy intiatives.

Advocacy efforts influence the way the public and policymakers at all levels think and act regarding a given issue. Anyone can be an advocate. It is important to inform and educate the public and policymakers in order to influence the laws, regulations, and rules that impact the experience of cancer from prevention through palliation.