Using geographic information systems to promote community involvement in comprehensive cancer control

Health Commun. 2010 Apr;25(3):276-85. doi: 10.1080/10410231003711755.


Geographic information systems (GIS) for cancer control present an innovative approach to health communication for comprehensive cancer control (CCC) planning. The ability to spatially depict multivariate views of cancer incidence, treatment site locations, transportation routes, and even environmental exposures within a map represents opportunities to involve communities in novel ways with cancer control. Communities may be involved strategically and/or as a goal in planning efforts. The experiences and perceptions of a near census of U.S. CCC program managers (N = 49) were examined to gain their insights about the compatibility of GIS mapping for CCC, the target audiences to be reached with maps as a CCC message, and relative advantages of this technology in its diffusion. Analysis includes a quantitative assessment of interviews and qualitative statements to illustrate these issues. Results suggest that GIS use for cancer control has the potential to build community capacity and social capital for communities as a way to reduce the cancer burden.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Awareness
  • Censuses
  • Community Networks / organization & administration*
  • Geographic Information Systems*
  • Health Education
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Planning / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Sentinel Surveillance*
  • United States