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Florida Becomes First State in Nation to Collect Cancer Recurrence Data

First Lady Casey DeSantis recently announced that Florida will be the first state in the nation to collect cancer recurrence data – the Cancer Connect Collaborative’s first action to remove data access barriers for easy and timely research. While a survivor is in remission, the same or a different cancer may recur, called a cancer recurrence.

There is currently no collective population-level data system in the United States monitoring cancer recurrence.

Florida is home to more than 200,000 cancer patients treated at over 300 world-class health care facilities statewide.

“Through this mission, Florida will be the first state in the country to collect cancer recurrence data on a statewide scale,” said Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis. “By having this data reported to the State, this will be a resource to help identify new avenues resulting in better care and treatment standards to help all individuals battling the fight against cancer, regardless of where they are receiving care.”

Historically, cancer mortality and survival data were the focus of cancer research. Now we recognize that it is essential to use cancer recurrence in research to adapt our understanding of the illness, improve cancer care, and inform treatment decisions.

“Fortunately, cancer care has improved and reduced mortality – but the collection of data has not followed this progress,” said State Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo. “Through the existing structure of the Florida Cancer Data System, the Florida Department of Health will be working directly with facilities to support data collection, improvement, and analysis alongside the evolution of cancer care.”

“To enhance cancer research and care in Florida we must look at existing data and determine where funding will be best spent on research,” said Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Jason Weida. “The Agency will work with Florida’s cancer centers to ensure that they are collecting and sharing recurrence data to enhance research. With this step, Florida is leading the nation in cancer research through our partnerships across state government, academia, health care facilities, practitioners, and insurers.”

The Agency for Health Care Administration and Florida Department of Health have contacted all statutorily required reporting facilities to receive additional patient outcome data from hospitals statewide, specifically in regards to remission, disease progression, and recurrence.

To further Florida’s mission of expanding and improving cancer outcomes in Florida through the Florida Cancer Connect Collaborative, First Lady Casey DeSantis charged the Agency for Health Care Administration and Florida Department of Health to enhance the foundation of cancer care in Florida.

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