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2022-2027 Illinois Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is pleased to share the 2022-2027 Illinois Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan (“plan”). The plan provides a roadmap to guide cancer prevention, screening, treatment, and survivorship activities throughout Illinois.

Cancer remains the second leading cause of death, after heart disease, in Illinois for 2019 for all ages. For children through age of 17 and young adults ages 18 through 24 in 2019, cancer was the fourth leading cause of death. Cancer is the first leading cause of death in 2019 for adults aged 45 to 64 and 65 to 84.

Cancer affects all population groups, but some population groups are disproportionately affected due to social, environmental, and economic disadvantages. For all types of cancer in 2017, Black males were disproportionately affected more than other race/ethnicities of males.

Illinois has made great strides in the fight against cancer, but Illinoisans must continue to work to reduce and to prevent cancers. We must work together to address the community members who have historically been marginalized, whether according to race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, religion, or language, among others, and develop strategies and policies to address health disparities and/or health inequities with the end result of furthering health equity to reduce and to prevent cancer.

The 2022-2027 plan updates the information from the 2016-2021 plan in a reformatted layout, plus includes expanded sections. More emphasis has been placed on health equity and health disparities. We have placed an importance on including the voices and opinions of those for whom this document is created: the people of Illinois impacted by cancer, the caregivers and support persons, and the cancer survivors. Quotes from people impacted by cancer are interspersed throughout the document.

We encourage organizations, health systems, community groups, employers, and Illinoisans to review the plan and incorporate the plan’s goals, objectives, and strategies within their organizations or groups to help reduce cancer incidence in Illinois.

With your help, we will increase awareness of and access to cancer education, screening, treatment, and long-term survivorship care for all Illinoisans, regardless of geography, financial status, insurance coverage, or any other characteristic.

By working collaboratively, we will strengthen the fight against cancer, decrease death and suffering from cancer, and enrich the lives of the people of the state of Illinois.

For more information, contact the Illinois Department of Public Health Comprehensive Cancer Control Program at 217-782-3300 or DPH.CompCancer@illinois.gov.

Introduction

Cancer is a term used for diseases in which abnormal cells divide uncontrollably and invade other tissues and spread to other parts of the body through the blood and lymph systems. Cancer is not just one disease, but many diseases of which there are more than 100 types. The overarching goal is to reduce cancer incidence and mortality in Illinois by addressing all domains of the cancer continuum, from primary prevention to survivorship and to palliative care.

The plan provides a roadmap to guide cancer prevention work and control activities in Illinois through the implementation of high need, high feasibility, and evidence-based strategies. The plan is intended to mobilize stakeholders and partners through the following: policy, environmental, and system change; health equity advocacy; program development; clinical improvements; evaluation and surveillance enhancements; and other cancer prevention and control efforts. Execution of the plan will require a collective effort by stakeholders and partners, including individuals, local health departments, health care systems, academic institutions, state departments and divisions, nonprofit organizations, and others. Stakeholders and partners are encouraged to incorporate these goals, objectives, and strategies within their strategic plans. Effective implementation of these ambitious, yet imperative goals will require an ongoing, coordinated, and collaborative effort.

This plan is based upon the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Cancer Prevention and Control’s Cancer Plan Self-Assessment Tool. It includes the core components and a description of the process used to develop the plan; goals, objectives, and strategies; stakeholder involvement; disease burden data; cancer and health disparities; and evaluation.

Development of the Plan

The plan was developed by the Illinois Cancer Partnership (ICP) and its 2022-2027 Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan work groups.

The ICP is a coalition of stakeholders across the state dedicated to reducing the incidence, morbidity and mortality of cancer and to enhance survivorship. The ICP vision is for all Illinoisans to be educated about cancer and its risks and prevention practices; have the opportunity for a lifestyle conducive to reducing cancer risks; have access to the highest form of cancer care, including early diagnosis and treatment; and benefit from well-planned policies and adequate resources.

The ICP purpose is to develop, to implement, and to evaluate a state Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan and collaboratively accomplish the goals set forth in the Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan to reduce the incidence and to monitor the planning process to ensure effective cancer prevention services are reaching populations most at risk.

Cancer Plan Development Timeline

  • 10/2019 - Kickoff Meeting: Kickoff meeting held in northern Illinois in October
  • 11/2019 - Kickoff Meeting: Kickoff meeting held in soutern Illinois in November
  • 7/2020 - ICP: The ICP discussed and reviewed progress on each area during monthly meetings
  • 8/2020 - Surveys: Survey created and distributed to the ICP membership for feedback on the previous plan and input in the new plan
  • 10/2020 - Annual Meeting: The annual ICP meeting focused on updating progress from the previous plan and preparing for the new plan
  • 11/2020 - Work Groups: Work groups began meeting in November 2020 through April 2021 to develop the priority area goals, objectives, and strategies
  • 1/2021 - Town Hall: The statewide cancer health disparities town hall held to gather input and feedback from cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers
  • 3/2021 - Focus Groups: Cancer health disparities focus groups of cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers were held in March and April 2021

Two kickoff meetings for the 2022-2027 plan were held—one in northern Illinois (October 2019) and one in southern Illinois (November 2019). During these meetings, participants created the three overarching workgroups: 1) Prevention, 2) Screening and Early Detection, and 3) Diagnosis, Treatment, and Survivorship. The meeting participants developed a vision statement and set initial goals and objectives for each workgroup.

The ICP began discussing strategies during the monthly meetings in August 2020.

The Illinois Comprehensive Cancer Control Program (ICCCP) contracts with the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford to provide evaluation of the ICCCP, including collecting, analyzing, compiling, and evaluating the progress toward objectives of the ICP and the work of the comprehensive cancer control program. In August 2020, the ICCCP collaborated with the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford evaluation team to distribute a survey to Illinois cancer partners to capture feedback from the 2016-2021 plan and to collect considerations for the future plan.

Survey participants noted the following strengths of the 2016-2021 plan:

  • Clear strategies, goals, and activities
  • Comprehensive
  • Focus on:
    • Early detection
    • Health equity
    • HPV (human papillomavirus)
    • Prevention
  • Provides information and resources

For the 2022-2027 plan, survey participants wanted the following included:

  • Robust and clear strategies, goals, and activities
  • More data
  • Tobacco use in youth, such as vaping and e-cigarettes
  • Radon
  • Social determinants of health and health disparities
  • Financial burden/toxicity
  • Focus on rural areas
  • Direction for plan implementation
  • More information for cancer survivors

In October 2020, the ICCCP focused the ICP Annual Meeting on preparing to update the plan. Presentations included a community engagement plan, COVID-19 and cancer, health equity and cancer, HPV burden report, Illinois cancer data, introduction to the work groups, progress on the 2016-2021 goals and objectives, rural health disparities, and survey results.

The plan is based upon the priority areas of prevention; screening and early detection; and diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship. Health equity is embedded within each priority area.

In September 2020, sign up for work group members was opened to the ICP coalition, the ICP listserv, and other stakeholders. Work group members were able to indicate their preference of work groups: prevention; screening and early detection; and diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship.

In October 2020, work group members volunteered to lead the work groups, and a training was held on how to facilitate the work group meetings. Resources were distributed to work group leaders to assist in developing specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely (SMART) objectives. Work sheets were provided to document goals, objectives, and strategies. The three work groups started meeting in November 2020 to create goals, objectives, and strategies in their respective priority areas. Work groups concluded by April 2021.

In order to expand information on health equity, the ICCCP collaborated with the University of Illinois Cancer Center’s Community Engagement and Health Equity (CEHE) office to implement a community engagement strategy to understand cancer disparities in Illinois and to obtain the feedback and input of the people who are directly impacted by cancer: patients, survivors, and caregivers. The purpose was to capture individual perspectives that could then be reflected in the plan.

In January 2021, CEHE held a statewide cancer town hall to hear from the community regarding how cancer impacts their life, strategies to improve cancer outcomes, and what can the state do to improve cancer disparities.

As a follow-up to the town hall, CEHE held eight focus groups, three general population focus groups, as well as focus groups specifically for rural residents, survivors, young survivors, caregivers, and Spanish speakers. The focus groups allowed a deeper dive into health equity and cancer disparities. This information is presented in the Health Disparities section of this plan.

Throughout the development of the plan, information was continuously discussed and reviewed with the ICP.

Using the Plan

The plan is for Illinois’ public health agencies, community organizations, health care systems, health insurers, educators, researchers, employers, and professional organizations.

Each objective in the plan includes a list of actionable strategies to incorporate and to tailor to fit individual and organizational goals and strategic initiatives. The plan should be used as a strategic guide for stakeholders throughout Illinois. The plan will help raise awareness and inform partners about efforts throughout the state.

Organizations are recommended to integrate new strategies with existing programs, such as chronic diseases, prevention, education, and service delivery.

When using the plan, consider the following:

  • Review the goals to determine which fit within or may be added to your organization, agency, or group’s mission or vision. Identify the objectives and strategies that may be incorporated within your structure.
  • Set short-term and long-term objectives for annual goals, department goals, and individual goals and actions.
  • Meet with partner organizations and agencies within your region to discuss how to collaboratively address and to implement goals, objectives, and strategies.
  • Identify data that you currently collect or may need to be collecting to track progress towards the goals, objectives, and strategies.
  • On a regular basis, review the data collected with your team. Identify any trends, strengths, or weaknesses to determine if adjustments are needed.

IDPH and the ICCCP will be responsible for providing technical assistance and educational opportunities. The ICCCP, ICP Executive Committee, and the ICP subcommittees (Prevention; Screening and Early Detection; and Diagnosis, Treatment, and Survivorship) will be responsible and involved in implementing the plan with training, technical assistance, and funding, when available, for grant-related activities.

A resource plan and budget will be developed and maintained as a separate document. The resource plan indicates what is needed to implement the plan, which includes a variety of current and potential funding sources.

This plan shall be reviewed annually, and updates published as addendums to the plan.

For guidance in identifying evidence based interventions, consult The Community Guide at https://www.thecommunityguide.org/ or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/ncccp/index.htm.

The contents of this plan are intended for strategic planning, informational, and educational purposes only and not for the purpose of rendering medical advice nor intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Consult your physician or other qualified health care professional for medical advice or any questions regarding a medical condition.

This section includes the goals, objectives, and strategies for each of the three priority areas:

  • Prevention
  • Screening and Early Detection
  • Diagnosis, Treatment, and Survivorship

and health equity embedded into each area.

Whether you are a cancer patient, cancer survivor, caregiver of a cancer patient, community member, student, employer, health care professional, or policy maker, everyone can play a role in helping with the prevention, early detection, treatment, and survivorship of cancer in Illinois.

The burden of cancer upon Illinoisans is described with an overview of data covering state demographics, cancer incidence, and cancer mortality.

Cancer in children is rare when compared to cancer occurring in adults. Cancer is still the leading cause of death from disease among children from birth to age 14. No exact definition exists to differentiate childhood cancers from adolescent and young adult cancers.

Health equity and how health disparities impact cancer screening, early detection, and treatment are discussed.

Illinois residents living in rural areas face unique challenges and health disparities that impact cancer prevention, screening and early detection, and diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship.

LGBTQ communities are at risk of poor access to cancer prevention, screening, care, cancer survivorship, quality of life, and cancer outcomes. Due to stigma and stress, LGBTQ people may be more hesitant to disclose their sexual orientation and gender identity to their health care providers, which may decrease their cancer survivorship outcome.