What is the Filipino Community Cancer Collaborative?

Monday, October 15, 2012
By, Brianna Loughridge
Today cancer is one of the leading cause of death in Filipinos nationwide.  In the state of California, Among Asians subgroups, Filipinos have the highest mortality rates for female breast cancer, prostate cancer, and thyroid cancer. (Kwong, 2005). And, within the San Francisco Bay Area alone, Filipino males maintain the highest lung and prostate cancer incidence rates out of all Asians in the area and breast cancer remains the number one cause of cancer-related deaths in Filipina women (Gomez, 2005; Creswell, 2008).

Poor language skills, low income, and low education are a few of the major barriers that inhibit Filipinos from exercising good prevention and screening practices. And, few are even knowledgeable about how certain lifestyle habits and environments might increase cancer risk. Poor healthcare coverage continues to disadvantage the population. Ten percent of non-elderly Filipinos have Medicaid or another type of public health insurance and 14% of non-elderly Filipinos are uninsured nationwide (Harle, 2007). As a result, cancer incidence and mortality rates remain high.

For these reasons, the Filipino Community Cancer Collaborative (FCCC) was established in 2005 by the American Cancer Society. FCCC’s mission is to empower the Filipino community living in the San Francisco Bay Area through culturally responsive cancer-related education and outreach programs. Efforts have been directed to educate the community about topics surrounding breast, cervical, colorectal and prostate cancer in addition to prevention and screening. Education is crucial in preventing these cancers that are most endemic to the Filipino community in the Bay Area.

FCCC expands by fostering partnerships among volunteer organizations, health professionals, researchers and community members that are committed to improving the health of Filipinos in the San Francisco Bay Area. Currently the Collaborative includes members from American Cancer SocietyAsian & Pacific Islander American Health ForumCalifornia Health CollaborativeNational Cancer Institute’s Cancer Information ServiceSeton Medical CenterUniversity of California, San Francisco Comprehensive Cancer CenterUniversity of California, San Francisco School of Nursing, and West Bay Pilipino Multi-Services Center, along with local Filipino community members.

To date, FCCC has performed the following:

  • Conducted community assessments and discussions
  • Developed cancer education materials
  • Hosted cancer and health educational workshops
  • Campaigned health messages in the community
  • Filmed the stories of Filipino cancer survivors
  • Convened Filipino community-based organizations and shared resources
  • Connected with the Asian media
  • Presented cancer health data relevant to Filipinos


FCCC has also produced the following educational materials:


FCCC would like to continue to support and assist organizations reaching out to the Greater San Francisco Bay Area Filipino community on cancer health related projects and activities.  FCCC is open to covering other areas of cancer control in areas of Cancer Prevention (nutrition, physical activity, and obesity and tobacco prevention), Cancer Clinical Trials, Cancer Survivorship / Quality of Life.


For more information, contact Elizabeth M. Lam at elizabeth.lam@cancer.org or Rachel J. Mesia at rmesia@stanford.edu.

Get emails through FCCC’s email list. Sign up online at: groups.yahoo.com/group/fcccemail

Websites: fccc.yolasite.comwww.apiahf.org/fccc


Brianna Loughridge
Chronic Diseases Program Assistant

Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum


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