Geographic Information Systems and Science for Cancer Control

Introduction to GIS at NCI

Geospatial tools are used at NCI for a variety of applications, including:

  • The identification and display of the geographic patterns of cancer incidence and mortality rates in the US and their change over time,
  • The creation of complex databases for the study of cancer screening, diagnosis and survival at the community level,
  • Environmental exposure assessment through satellite imagery,
  • Spatial statistical models to estimate cancer incidence, prevalence and survival for every US state,
  • Communication of local cancer information to the public and public health professionals through interactive web-based tools,
  • The identification of health disparities at the local level through the comparison of cancer outcomes across demographic subgroups, and
  • Development of new methods of displaying geospatial data for clear communication to the public and for examination of complex multivariate data by researchers.

Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS):

  • The Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program (EGRP) and the Surveillance Research Program (SRP) support grant research to use GIS in cancer research and the development of methodologies to accomplish this research. EGRP also funded the development and maintenance of a geographic information system for breast cancer studies on Long Island (LI GIS). The LI GIS is available to researchers and can be used to study other types of cancer and conditions as well.

Surveillance Research Program (SRP):

Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (DCEG):

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