Focus Areas

The Indiana Cancer Control Plan 2018-2020 consists of four focus areas: primary prevention, early detection, treatment, and survivorship. We utilize these focus areas to define the scope of our work with our diverse state partners to reduce the burden of cancer in Indiana.

Goal: Prevent Cancer from Occurring

Prevention of cancer through identification and avoidance of modifiable risk factors is crucial to reducing Indiana’s cancer burden. Although some cancer risk factors are non-modifiable, such as family history and age, there are many lifestyle and behavior changes that can be modified to significantly lower cancer risk. Healthy lifestyle behaviors include avoiding tobacco products and secondhand smoke, minimizing alcohol intake, adhering to 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 Guideline-Based Screening for Early Detection

The ICC’s main objective to support early detection is to increase rates of evidence-based cancer screening. Early detection through screening reduces mortality from breast, uterine cervix, colon and rectum, and lung cancers. Several strategies will be directed at increasing public awareness about the benefits and risks of cancer screening, provider knowledge around promoting shared decision-making about the choice to get screened, and interventions to increase screening.

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 Shared Decision-Making and Ensure Accessible and Evidence-Based Care

The survival and quality of life of a newly-diagnosed cancer patient can depend on the accessibility and availability of timely, quality treatment. The ICC strives to eliminate or limit these barriers to receiving high quality care by improving adherence to evidence-based standards of care. Improving cancer treatment delivery will begin by implementing policy, systems, and environmental changes; supporting provider education and training; and improving patient access to care, education, and programming.

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 All Those Affected by Cancer  

Due to advances in early detection and treatment, more and more individuals are living after a cancer diagnosis. The ICC believes in the increasing importance of ensuring that everyone diagnosed and treated for cancer achieves the highest quality of life possible. Cancer survivorship aims to prevent and control adverse outcomes and provide knowledge regarding timely follow-up care, surveillance, and optimal quality of life after cancer treatment.