Cancer Care

American Indians and Alaskan Natives (AI/ANs) have the poorest 5-year survival rates from all cancers among all racial and ethnic groups in the United States. The Collaborative to Improve Native Cancer Outcomes (CINCO) is a multi-faceted program, led by CERTAIN partner the University of Washington Center for Clinical and Epidemiological Research (CCER), funded to improve cancer health outcomes and quality of life specifically for the AI/AN patient populations.

Surgical intervention is the only curative treatment for several common cancers and is commonly used for patients with higher-risk cancers. The earlier treatment occurs in the progression of disease, the greater the chance for survival, yet little is understood about why such a dramatic variation in surgical care delivery and outcomes exists for American Indian and Alaskan Native populations. Working with CERTAIN, SCOAP has developed a surveillance registry to benchmark surgical care and outcomes for several cancer sites. The Cancer Care SCOAP Module captures medical record information about clinical care and related outcomes related to surgical treatment for several common cancers (lung, breast, prostate and colorectal cancer) and high-risk cancer cases (uterine, esophagus, liver, kidney, and pancreas cancers).

Beyond performing surveillance of cancer care delivery and outcomes, CERTAIN is also conducting a research investigation with the aim of understanding how patient and surgeon perceptions, attitudes, and beliefs affect their choices or outcomes in cancer treatment. This project, called the Surgical Disparities project, has an overall aim of evaluating health disparities existing in Washington State and identifying best practices for improving care delivery to all disadvantaged populations at participating SCOAP hospitals.


CINCO is funded by an award received from the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

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CERTAIN is helping providers be certain of the cancer care they deliver by:

  • Building a Cancer Care SCOAP module for quality performance surveillance and benchmarking.
  • Providing training to hospitals in race and ethnicity classification to improve hospital admission data collection.
  • Learning how providers and patients make decisions about surgical care to identify areas where healthcare is at its best and where care can be improved. 

Contact us to learn more about CERTAIN activities in Cancer Care, or download the information below to share with a colleague: