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About the Chronic Disease Surveillance and Research BranchNew_CDSRB_Header_2017

Mission Statement

The Chronic Disease Surveillance and Research Branch (CDSRB) is committed to serving the public by collecting statewide data about chronic disease and risk factors, conducting surveillance and research into the causes, cures, and controls of cancer, and communicating the results to the public.  CDSRB coordinates these activities by directing, managing, and monitoring the state-mandated Ken Maddy California Cancer Registry (CCR), the California’s Comprehensive Cancer Control Program (CCCP), ​the Richard Paul Hemann California Parkinson’s Disease Registry (CPDR), the California ​Neurodegenerative Disease Registry (CNDR), and the California Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (CBRFSS)​.  ​



California Cancer Registry (CCR)

CCR is California’s statewide, population-based cancer surveillance system. In 1985, statewide population-based cancer reporting was mandated with the enactment of sections 103875, 103885, and 100330 of the California Health and Safety code.  Statewide cancer reporting was fully implemented in 1988. As of 2008, CCR has collected detailed information on more than 2.7 million cases of cancer, with over 160,000 new cases added each year.  

CCR collects information about all cancers diagnosed in California.  The information is used to develop strategies and policies for cancer prevention, treatment, and control, such as determining where early detection, educational or other programs should be directed.  In addition, health researchers use the data to analyze demographic and geographic factors that affect cancer risk, early detection, and effective treatment of cancer patients. 

CCR is recognized as one of the leading cancer registries in the world, and has been the cornerstone of a substantial amount of cancer research.  More than 450 funded research projects and 1900 publications have used CCR data.

CCR staff is also responsible for responding to community cancer concerns.  When a potential cancer cluster is identified through analysis of CCR data, CDSRB communicates with the Environmental Health Investigations Branch to inform them of the findings and to help determine if further investigation is warranted.  The CCR responds to approximately 100 community cancer concerns every year.


Comprehensive Cancer Control Program (CCCP)

Comprehensive Cancer Control is a collaborative process through which communities pool resources to reduce the burden of cancer by focusing on risk reduction, early detection, better treatment, and enhanced survivorship.  In an effort to achieve these goals, the CCCP is funded to establish a statewide coalition, called the California Dialogue on Cancer (CDOC), assess the burden of cancer, determine priorities and develop and implement a Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan in California.

CDOC was formed by the CCCP in conjunction with the American Cancer Society to provide guidance for comprehensive cancer control activities statewide.  CDOC is comprised of cancer control leaders that represent a broad range of organizations and interest areas including state and local government, non-profit organizations, health, medical and business communities, researchers, academic institutions, cultural and religious organizations as well as cancer survivors, caregivers and advocates.  Four working teams address the following cross-cutting cancer control issues:

  • Disparities, Access to Care and Early Detection
  • Research, Surveillance & Evaluation
  • Prevention
  • Survivorship and Treatment

Visit our California Dialogue on Cancer webpage for more information.


California Parkinson’s Disease Registry (CPDR)

CPDR was created within the California Department of Public Health as a population-based registry for the purposes of surveillance and research of Parkinson's disease throughout California. Health care providers are required to report Parkinson's disease cases to CPDR, and this mandated reporting began July 1, 2018 through the enactment of California Health and Safety code 103870. As of December 31, 2020, CPDR has counted over 75,000 Parkinson's patients in California and the registry continues to process incoming data and increase data capture throughout the state.​

The information that CPDR collects about Parkinson's disease patients is used to estimate the incidence and prevalence of this disease throughout California. Per statute, this confidential data is also available to qualified researchers with a valid scientific interest. CPDR has published the Data Disclosure Policies and Procedures which details the application process for which qualified individuals may request CPDR data. The availability of this data will expand our understanding of Parkinson's disease and serves as an invaluable and unique public health resource for California and beyond.


California Neurodegenerative Disease Registry (CNDR)

CNDR is California’s new statewide population-based neurodegenerative disease surveillance system. CNDR will collect data on the incidence and prevalence of neurodegenerative disease in California. In 2021, statewide population-based neurodegenerative disease reporting to CNDR was mandated through the enactment of section 103871 of the California Health and Safety Code.​

Starting on July 1, 2023, Health and Safety Code Section 103871 requires hospital, facility, physician and surgeon, and other health care providers to report to California Department of Public Health (CDPH) each case of a neurodegenerative disease that was designated as reportable by CDPH. However, in light of needed initial onboarding to the reporting systems and corresponding logistics, CDPH will be flexible with the reporting due dates for the first reporting period and will assist providers with the process. 

Health and Safety Code Section 103871 defines “Neurodegenerative disease” as including, but is not limited to, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Huntington’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. CNDR will inform hospitals, facilities, physicians and surgeons, or other health care providers diagnosing or providing treatment for a patient with a neurodegenerative disease about the reporting requirements.

The registry will be a collection of patient data used to determine the incidence and prevalence of neurodegenerative disease in California. In addition, per mandate, this data repository will be accessible to qualified researchers with a valid scientific interest to perform their own studies. Therefore, this registry will serve as an invaluable public health resource to better understand the impact of neurodegenerative disease in California.​

California Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (CBRFSS)

California BRFSS conducts, a yearly assessment of numerous public health topics. BRFSS is sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).

The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) was established in 1984 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is the nation’s premier system of health-related telephone surveys that collect state data about U.S. residents, 18 years and older,  regarding their health-related risk behaviors.

BRFSS provides the state of California and the nation with a yearly assessment of a variety of public health topics, including: demographic information, cancer prevalence and screening, tobacco use and control, gender specific health screenings (e.g., breast and prostate cancer), asthma diagnosis, alcohol consumption, and other current health concerns (e.g., flu and pneumococcal vaccinations).

The California BRFSS utilizes random digit dialing of California landline and cell phone numbers, and conducts interviews in English and Spanish. Data is weighted allowing researchers to accurately estimate the prevalence of health conditions and behaviors. BRFSS data is available for public use.​

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