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Cancer Registry of Greater California

Through a contract from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), PHI manages the Cancer Registry of Greater California (CRGC), one of several population based registries that make up NCI‘s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program. CRGC collects data on cancers diagnosed among residents of 48 of 58 California counties. CRGC identifies and collects information about 57% of the approximately 160,000 cancer cases diagnosed annually in California following SEER‘s reporting requirements. CRGC is one of three SEER registries in California collecting cancer data under State law through the Chronic Disease Surveillance and Research Branch (CDSRB) of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).The CDPH and the regional registries make up the California Cancer Registry (CCR). Data are used for cancer surveillance, research and program evaluation.

Program Director(s)

Rosemary Cress
Marta Induni

Program Site



California Emerging Infections Program Survey

The Survey Research Group will continue efforts for the California Emerging Infections Program.  SRG will 1) continue data collection until all calling protocols are met, 2) conduct daily monitoring of staff, 3) produce weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, and quarterly sample reports for CEIP, 4) meet regularly with CEIP staff to report progress, 5) clean and code data, 6) manage datasets and prepare for submission.

SEER Linked Virtual Tissue Repository

The Cancer Registry of Greater California (CRGC) will 1) assess the ability of SEER Contractor Registries to serve as a resource for biospecimen research, 2) locate patients with biospecimens in pathology laboratories and determine the requirements to retrieve those biospecimens, 3) provide custom annotation of specified data items, 4) capture costs for identifying each available biospecimen and performing custom annotation of each biospecimen.

Service Cancer Case Reporting

Cancer Registry of Greater California will provide abstracts of cancer cases with reportable neoplasms for Sierra View Medical Center.

Here's How We're Making a Difference

Collecting Cancer Data to Improve Care Across All Populations

Each year in California, nearly 10,000 people are diagnosed with colon cancer, 1400 with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and more than 2,000 with myeloma. Through the SEER Patterns of Care Studies, PHI's Cancer Register of Greater California (CRGC) collects information from physicians and medical records to supplement and verify routine cancer registry data on these types of cancers—including patients diagnosed across the 49 counties that make up the CRGC catchment area, and their physicians. The CRGC assesses just over 103,410 new cancer cases each year from across 49 counties. The CRGC processes over 471,000 pathology reports and performs quality control on over 67,257 incoming cases each year. In the last year, CRGC has identified and added 11,082 new cases to the statewide database in physicians’ offices that were not seen in the other reporting sources. 

The SEER Patterns of Care Studies describe, characterize, and compare practice patterns and treatments provided for cancer in different geographic areas of the US and are conducted annually under a Congressional directive. Thanks to the CRGC's work, the collected data will be consolidated at the National Cancer Institute with data from other SEER registries across the US, allowing researchers to find patterns of treatment and identify any disparities by age, geography, or race and ethnicity. This information is then used to inform providers of cancer care and for further research into reasons for disparities.

In 2017, CRGC received a silver (second place) award for meeting 13 out of 14 Data Quality Marker Indicators in their most recent data submission to the National Cancer Institute’s SEER program. This award reflects the dedication and hard work of CRGC staff across the state.

Using New Mapping Techniques to Identify Elevated Breast Cancer Rates

Research by the Public Health Institute’s (PHI) California Breast Cancer Mapping Project (CBCMP), a project of the California Environmental Health Tracking Program (now Tracking California), pinpointed four previously unidentified areas of California that have invasive breast cancer rates substantially higher than the state average. As opposed to traditional breast cancer surveillance, which relies on aggregate county-level data, the CBCMP developed and implemented a protocol to map breast cancer rates within and across county boundaries by looking at data (obtained from the Cancer Registry of Greater California, or CRGC) by census tract. This identified the four areas of concern, or groups of census tracts that showed invasive breast cancer rates 10-20 percent higher than the state average between 2000-2008. The four “areas of concern” encompass sections of Ventura, Los Angeles, Riverside and Orange counties, as well as parts of the north and south Bay Area. Since these areas span sections of multiple counties, they had never been identified by traditional county-level surveillance as having elevated breast cancer rates.