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Markey Cancer Data Portal Provides Digital Footprint of Cancer in Kentucky

Cancer InFocus Kentucky
A new article gives technical specifics behind Cancer InFocus: Kentucky and highlights its potential to drive change in communities.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 23, 2022) — The University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center’s Community Impact Office recently launched Cancer InFocus: Kentucky – a new, online data mapping application that allows users to explore cancer incidence and mortality data alongside population demographics, social determinants of health and behavioral risk factors at various geographic levels across the Commonwealth.

Users have the opportunity to create customized maps using data from a variety of sources and download the map images for use in presentations, proposals, reports and more. The data behind the maps are also available in a downloadable workbook with variable definitions and citations provided.

“This is a valuable tool for stakeholders across Kentucky as we all work together in planning and evaluating efforts to rewrite the story of cancer in our state,” said Pamela Hull, Ph.D., associate director of population science and community impact in the UK Markey Cancer Center and an associate professor of behavioral science in the UK College of Medicine.

Cancer InFocus: Kentucky was created as a complement to the 2021 Kentucky Cancer Needs Assessment (KY CNA). This comprehensive report resulted from a steering committee of organizations convened by the UK Markey Cancer Center. As various stakeholders and community-based organizations begin to use the KY CNA to drive their strategic planning based on the data and community perspectives illustrated, the interactive options within Cancer InFocus: Kentucky will provide further direction on where the needs are in specific communities. This will allow groups across the state to take action in their community to strategically target specific areas with needed resources in an effort to rewrite the story of cancer in Kentucky.

“Cancer InFocus will also have an impact beyond Kentucky,” said Todd Burus, data visualization specialist in the UK Markey Cancer Center Community Impact Office. “We built Cancer InFocus in a way that we can easily share it with cancer centers in other states who can adapt it for the geographic areas that they serve.”

The UK Markey Cancer Center Community Impact Office will be showcasing this innovative mapping application in the form of a poster presentation at the upcoming Cancer Center Community Impact Forum – a national annual meeting of National Cancer Institute Designated Cancer Center professionals. This will provide the UK Markey Cancer Center with the opportunity to spearhead a new way in which data are accessed and used to drive change in communities nationwide.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.