University of Southern California
USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center

Los Angeles County Cancer Surveillance Program

Whenever someone in Los Angeles County is diagnosed with cancer, he or she unknowingly contributes to scientists' understanding of the disease. Information about the diagnosis is sent to USC, where it is analyzed as part of the Los Angeles County Cancer Surveillance Program (CSP).

The CSP is the population-based cancer registry for the county, administered by the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Keck School of Medicine of USC. USC Norris physicians, epidemiologists, statisticians and other health professionals participate in the collection of information for the registry, which chronicles information on all new cancer cases - more than 30,000 a year - reported in Los Angeles County.

Established in 1972, the CSP is one of the most productive cancer registries in the world, making important contributions toward understanding the demographic patterns and the etiology of the perplexing diseases known as cancer.

CSP data are an epidemiological resource for generating new hypotheses about specific cancer sites, monitoring trends and patterns of cancer incidence, and identifying demographic groups at high risk of cancer. The CSP master file contains more than 1 million records.

In 1981, the CSP became the official legal agent of Los Angeles County for collecting information on all new cases of cancer. In 1987, it became the regional registry for Los Angeles County for the new California Cancer Registry, one of ten such registries that contribute to statewide coverage. In September 1992, the CSP became the largest registry of the NCI-funded Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program, which provides the federal government with cancer incidence and survival rates across the United States.

For news about the CSP and cancer statistics, visit the Cancer Surveillance Program website.