In 1971, the National Cancer Act created a process to recognize the leadership, facilities, and research efforts at cancer centers throughout the United States. Toward this goal, each NCI-designated cancer center defines and describes a catchment area to which they tailor specific scientific and community engagement activities.


The geographically defined catchment areas of 63 NCI-designated comprehensive and clinical cancer centers are collated and presented visually. In addition, the NCI-designated cancer center catchment areas are geographically linked with publicly available data sources to aggregate sociodemographic and epidemiologic characteristics across the NCI Cancer Centers Program.


The national map portrays the size, shape, and locations for 63 catchment areas of the 71 NCI-designated cancer centers. The findings illustrate the geographic extent of the NCI Cancer Centers Program during the 50th anniversary of the National Cancer Act.


NCI-designated cancer centers occupy a prominent role in the cancer control ecosystem and continue to perform research to address the burden of cancer among their local communities. The strength of the NCI Cancer Centers Program is partly defined by the scope, quality, and impact of community outreach and engagement activities in the catchment areas.


The collation and geographic presentation of the distinct, but complementary, NCI-designated cancer center catchment areas are intended to support future research and community outreach activities among NCI-designated cancer centers.

See related commentary by Vadaparampil and Tiro, p. 952

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