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.

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