Catchment Area

Catchment Area is a term used by the NCI to indicate the defined geographic area in which the cancer center concentrates its research, education and outreach efforts. Our catchment area is approximately 7 million square miles, slightly double the area of the continental United States, and covers 2.02 million individuals. This extensive catchment area creates substantial logistical challenges for the UH Cancer Center that are unique, yet we have been able to establish productive partnerships focused on populations who are at increased risk of developing or dying from cancer.

Catchment area indicated by the red dots (Photo credit: U.S. Geological Survey/photo by East-West Center)

Those at Increased Risk for Cancer

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in Hawaiʻi. Each year, an average of 7,393 Hawaiʻi residents are diagnosed with invasive cancer, and on average 2,393 residents die of cancer. The most common cancer in men is prostate cancer, and among women is breast cancer. The leading cause of cancer death among both women and men is lung and bronchus cancer.

In 2014-2018, incidence and mortality  of certain cancers varied across Hawaiʻi’s five major ethnic groups (Chinese, Filipinos, Japanese, Native Hawaiian, Whites), Other Asians (including Koreans and Vietnamese), and all Others (including Samoans, Micronesians, Blacks, American Indians).

  1. Among males, overall cancer incidence was highest in Whites and Others.  Mortality was highest in Native Hawaiians and Others.
  2. Among females, overall cancer incidence was highest in Native Hawaiians, Whites, and Others.  Mortality was highest in Native Hawaiians and Others.

US Associated Pacific Islands (USAPI).

Sociocultural, geographic, and biologic factors contribute to cancer health disparities in indigenous people in Guam and the USAPI. They experience a greater burden of cancer disparities that are associated with late-stage diagnosis and poor survival outcomes compared with majority populations in the United States.

  1. In USAPI: 3,000 annual cancer cases and 8,500 cancer deaths
  2. In USAPI, the most common cancer in men is lung cancer (n=98/yr); among women is breast cancer (n=129/yr)

What is Health Equity?

The Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health defines health equity as the attainment of the highest level of health for all people. We strive to promote health equity within our catchment area through the following aims:

  1. Understand the cancer burden and identify cancer control opportunities.
  2. Expand research related to prevention, screening and outcomes, especially to address cancer health disparities.
  3. Reduce barriers to clinical trial participation.
  4. Impact clinical practice, health behaviors and public policy in Hawaii, USAPI and beyond.