In order to balance the principles of access and confidentiality, the SCCCR has classified the release of data collected under Section 44-35-30, SC Code of Laws, 1996. This classification scheme aims to promote the use of accurate cancer data, provide equal treatment of data requesters and data providers, expedite the release and process, and encourage the release of the broad spectrum of data elements without compromising confidentiality. The data release classifications include two categories: unrestricted data and restricted (confidential) data. Procedures are set in place for the release of both classifications of data. The SCCCR Data Release Protocol explains these procedures.
Requests for Unrestricted Data (Aggregate Statistics)
Researchers requesting unrestricted or non-confidential data should first visit SCAN. The SCAN data query system allows users to generate tables and maps of South Carolina cancer incidence and mortality data. If the desired non-confidential data is not available on SCAN, researchers should contact the SCCCR at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please include the following information in your request:
- Type of data requested (i.e. incidence, mortality)
- Years requested (e.g., 1996-2016 incidence, 1996-2009 mortality)
- Any other desired variables (i.e., age, race, stage at diagnosis - incidence only)
- Reason for request
- When the information is needed
- Contact information: Name, title, company, address, phone, fax, e-mail address
Requests for Restricted Data
Restricted (confidential) data refers to data items that pertain to who, where, and when, or to aggregate data resulting in cell sizes less than 10 or rates based on fewer than 16 cases. For example, variables associated with patient, physician, & hospital or treatment center names, facility numbers or ids, and locations, etc.; and dates more specific than year. Address or location information more specific than county are considered confidential. Researchers requesting the use of restricted or confidential data items must complete the SCCCR Research Data Request Application (please contact email@example.com for a copy of the application) and submit the application and all supporting documents to the SCCCR. For studies involving patient contact, please contact the registry to set up a meeting to discuss this process. Further information see the SC Central Cancer Registry Case Ascertainment/Recruitment Protocol.
The application is then reviewed by the Surveillance Subcommittee of the Cancer Control Advisory Committee (CCACSS). The CCACSS forwards the documentation and its recommendation to the Department of Health and Environmental Control Institutional Review Board (DHEC IRB). Notification of approval will be provided after CCACSS review (at the time of DHEC IRB review).
In order for the data request process to proceed in the most expeditious manner, the SCCCR also requests that all researchers read the following document: Working with the South Carolina Central Cancer Registry (SCCCR): General Information and Best Practices for Students and Researchers .
Depending on the specific request, charges or fees may be applicable. Please refer to the Schedule of Fees to see how fees are calculated. The SCCCR can provide an estimate of fees upon request.
For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 803-898-8000.
Here are 3-page county-specific fact sheets about cancer incidence and cancer mortality in South Carolina.
What is a cancer cluster?
A cancer cluster is a group of more cancer cases than normal in a small area like a neighborhood, or cases occurring within a short time period. Perceived or suspected cancer clusters are reported when people learn that an unusual number of their friends, family, neighbors, or co-workers have cancer or have died of cancer.
It is normal to know a lot of people with cancer. The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates that 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will have cancer in his or her lifetime, and it will affect 2 in 3 families.
At least five types of cancer are very common:
• Lung and colon cancer in men and women
• Breast and uterine cancer in women
• Prostate cancer in men
These five major cancers make up over 70 percent of all the cancer cases in the United States today. Because these five cancers are so common, several cases might occur in one place. Cancer clusters might include these, but they are more likely to involve rarer types of cancer.
A true cancer cluster exists when the number of cancer cases that occur is statistically significantly more than would be expected by chance alone in a certain location or time period. This is most often true for rarer cancers, like bladder, leukemia, or brain cancer. However, there may be no common thread can be found among the cases, such as working at the same plant for many years, or living in the same neighborhood where a common exposure could have occurred.
A meaningful cancer cluster is a true cluster where there are common threads that link the cases in some way and that meet other scientific criteria or rules of thumb, such as evidence of at least a 3-fold increase in the number of cases of a particular kind of cancer over the number expected.
How are community cancer assessments conducted?
In response to a community cancer inquiry, the SCCCR conducts a Community Cancer Assessment (CCA) for that community. A CCA is a summary of the observed numbers of new cancer cases and deaths in a ZIP Code for the last five years of available data, compared to the expected numbers of cancer cases and deaths in a particular ZIP Code (the numbers that might be expected if the ZIP Code had the same cancer incidence and mortality rates as the state of SC). The ZIP Code area is the smallest area that can be analyzed (due to the need for stable population counts). This comparison helps to determine if the number of reported cases and deaths is above normal. The SCCCR provides approximately 40-50 CCAs by special request each year.
If any statistical excesses exist, additional examination is performed to determine if a true cancer cluster exists. However, over 95 percent of reports are not true clusters. They appear to be clusters because cancer is so common. Even a true cluster can occur randomly and may not be a meaningful cancer cluster (resulting from one common factor). Chance alone can sometimes account for higher rates of cancer. Since the SCCCR began investigating community cancer inquiries in 1996, only one true cancer cluster has been identified in South Carolina . A CCA report for any SC ZIP Code is available upon request.
View the SCCCR's Protocol for Handling Cancer Cluster Investigations
View the SCCCR's Cancer Cluster Guideline Summary