Programs and Research Studies
The programs and studies below represent UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center's efforts to: 1) describe and document the cancer burden of our 19-county catchment area; 2) develop and deploy research studies and community programs to understand and address this burden; and lastly 3) disseminate evidence-based cancer prevention and control practices.
Black & African American
There are an estimated 10,000 African Americans who smoke in Sacramento County currently and an estimated 28,000 former smokers. African Americans are more likely to test positive for cancer after screening but less likely to be screened and more likely to die from their disease.
With the launch of our lung cancer screening awareness campaign, we are including a special emphasis on addressing the disproportionate lung cancer burden faced by the African American community.
Learn more about the Lung Cancer Screening Awareness Campaign
Asian Americans Native Hawaiians Pacific Islanders (AANHPIs)
AANHPIs are the first U.S. racial/ethnic population to experience cancer as the leading cause of death. The cancer burden confronting Asian Americans is unusual in that infectious forms of cancer, (e.g., those due to viruses, rather than noncontagious agents such as tobacco) disproportionately affect them. Our programs engages the AANHPI community to reduce Asian American cancer health disparities.
UC Davis Division of Hematology and Oncology and UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center - Health and Life Organization (HALO) Collaborative to Mitigate Cancer Disparities among Asian Americans.
The goal of the collaborative is to develop a successful, sustainable, and scalable model of enhanced specialty care in cancer detection, treatment, control and prevention for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (AANHPIs) in Sacramento, California.
Learn more about Hepatitis B among Asian Americans
Cancer is the leading cause of death among Latinos, who represent the largest ethnic minority group in the United States.
Latinos United for Cancer Health Advancement (LUCHA): LUCHA strives to move our Latino community from cancer health disparities to health equity, which will be accomplished through community outreach, robust representation in clinical trials, and education about the importance of preventative cancer screenings and healthy lifestyles.
Learn more about LUCHA
Regular cancer screening tests increase the chances of detecting certain cancers early when they are most likely to be curable. Screening is looking for cancer before a person has any symptoms. When abnormal tissue or cancer is found at this early stage, it may be easier to treat. By the time symptoms appear, cancer may have begun to spread.
Examples of cancer screening tests are the mammogram (for breast cancer), colonoscopy (for colon cancer), and the Pap test and HPV tests (for cervical cancer). Screening also can include a genetic test to check for a risk of developing an inherited disease.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a disease in which cancer cells form in the tissues of the colon or the rectum. CRC often begins as a growth called a polyp inside the colon or rectum. Finding and removing polyps can prevent colorectal cancer. If a person has a first-degree relative who had CRC, especially if before the age of 55 years, it can double the person’s risk of developing the disease. For most people, age is the biggest risk factor for CRC Ninety percent of all CRCs are diagnosed after age 50. There are five types of tests used to screen for colorectal cancer: fecal occult blood test sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy; virtual colonoscopy and DNA stool test.
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of death from cancer in the United States.
Screen to Save (S2S) Initiative: Working in partnership with community health centers, we aim to increase colorectal cancer screening rates among men and women age 50 and older from racially and ethnically diverse communities and in rural areas.
Learn more about the Screen 2 Save Program
Breast cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in breast tissue. Mammography is the most common screening test for breast cancer. A mammogram is an x-ray picture of the breast. Mammography may find tumors that are too small to feel. It may also find ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). In DCIS, abnormal cells line the breast duct, and in some women may become invasive cancer. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be used to screen women who have a high risk of breast cancer. MRI is a procedure that uses a magnet, radio waves and a computer to make a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body.
Whether a woman should be screened for breast cancer and the screening test to use depends on certain factors. Women with risk factors for breast cancer, such as certain changes in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene or certain genetic syndromes, may be screened at a younger age and more often
Women who have had radiation treatment to the chest, especially at a young age, may start routine breast cancer screening at an earlier age.
In the U.S., excluding nonmelanoma skin cancers, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women.
Women aged 50 to 69 years who have screening mammograms have a lower chance of dying from breast cancer than women who do not have screening mammograms.
Breast Health Education for Underserved Communities: This program aims to provide women with ethnic-specific and culturally-tailored breast health education. We provide free in-language (English, Spanish, and Vietnamese) patient and community workshops on the importance of mammography.
Lung Cancer Screening
Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers worldwide and the leading cause of cancer death in men and women in the U.S. Most lung cancer can be prevented by not smoking, or quitting, if you do smoke. Cigarette smoking causes about 80% of all lung cancer deaths nationwide and many others are caused by exposure to secondhand smoke.
While lung cancer screening with low-dose CT was proven to be effective in 2011, only 4% of the more than 7.6 million Americans eligible have been screened because most doctors are not recommending it. Any adult 55-80 who has a 30-pack history of smoking (number of packs smoked per day multiplied by the number of years smoked) and either smokes currently or has quit within the past 15 years is eligible. To raise awareness about the importance of screening for lung cancer, we are conducting community outreach, providing educational material for patients visiting doctor oﬃces, and leveraging social and traditional media.
Clinical trials are the vehicles for development and evaluation of therapeutic and preventive agents under scientifically rigorous conditions. Without adequate representation of diverse populations in clinical trials, researchers cannot learn about potential differences among groups and cannot ensure the generalization/external validity of results, thus disparities in the cancer burden for minorities will increase.
Our clinical trials education program aims to empower minority patients with the knowledge necessary to make informed decisions about clinical trials participation. We offer community-tested, multimedia clinical trials educational materials in a variety of languages.
Stop Tobacco Program (SToP)
At UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, we provide a range of free resources to help you quit. We offer compassionate services through workshops, classes and telephone support. These include:
- Strategies to Quit Workshop
- Stop Tobacco Program
- Smokefree Support Group
Register for class and receive a free quit kit
In addition, the California Smokers Helpline provides one-to-one telephone counseling for people who want to quit. This free service doubles the chances of quitting. They also provide free educational materials and online services:
Nicotine addiction is very isolating. Repeated and failed attempts at quitting can produce feelings of guilt and shame. These chip away at a person’s confidence, and the addiction becomes overwhelming and compulsive. Our program supports patients on this journey by guiding them through the challenges addiction.
For more information on our tobacco cessation services please visit our SToP webpage
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends routine HPV vaccination with the 2-dose series at ages 11-12 years and catch up 3-dose vaccination (for those who were not previously vaccinated) through age 26 for both males and females for the prevention of several HPV-associated diseases. HPV vaccination is the optimal primary prevention strategy against HPV related diseases. The HPV vaccine can prevent about 92% of cancers caused by HPV and almost all cases of genital warts. Despite these recommendations and the public health implications of full vaccination coverage, adolescent HPV vaccination rates remain low. In 2018, 51.1% of U.S. adolescents aged 13-17 were up to date with the recommended HPV vaccination series. Although this is an overall increase in uptake from previous years, it is still substantially lower than the coverage for the other two recommended vaccines at these ages, the tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis vaccine (Tdap) at 89% and the Meningococcal Conjugate Vaccine (MenACWY) at 86.6%.
Accelerating Uptake of the HPV Vaccine among Rural & Native American Adolescents:
A Collaboration between the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center & Northern Valley Indian Health (NVIH)
The purpose of this study is to develop, implement and evaluate a multilevel intervention that will increase uptake of the HPV vaccine among rural and Native American adolescents served at the NVIH Willows Clinic located in Glenn County.
UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center’s environmental scan to investigate barriers, facilitators, and implementation strategies to promote uptake of the HPV vaccine in SEER Region 3 (Inland Northern California)
The purpose of the SEER Region 3 environmental scan is to investigate barriers, identify facilitators, and develop implementation strategies to customize interventions and approaches that will accelerate HPV vaccination uptake in our 13-county inland northern California catchment area.
For more information, please see our HPV ES Report
Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) Vaccine
Globally, the hepatitis B virus (HBV) is one of the leading causes of cancer. Currently, an estimated two billion people (i.e., one in three of the world's population) have been infected with HBV during their lifetime, making it one of the most common and serious infections in the world. More than 30 million people will become newly infected each year and, in the absence of intervention, an estimated 15%–25% of people with chronic infection will die of HBV-associated complications, including cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Although the overall prevalence of chronic HBV infection in the United States is low (i.e., < 1%), the number of HBV-infected people has risen in recent years because of an increasing number of immigrants from HBV-endemic areas (deﬁned as hepatitis B surface antigen [HBsAg] prevalence ≥ 2%), including parts of East and Southeast Asia, the Paciﬁc Islands, and Africa. The disproportionately elevated prevalence of chronic HBV in people from these countries is associated with substantial health disparities. The hepatitis B vaccine gives more than 90% protection to those who get the vaccine. The vaccine is recommended for all infants and children up to age 18 years as well as adults in high-risk groups which includes people from HBV-endemic areas.
Ending the Transmission of the Hepatitis B virus (HBV) - “END B”
“END B” proposes to eliminate the transmission of the Hepatitis B virus (HBV) from the perinatal period throughout the lifespan, sparing the next generation of Sacramento County, California residents from this principal etiological risk factor for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and improving the lives of those living with chronic HBV.