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The origin of the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) cancer control progam can be traced to the National Cancer Institute Act of 1937, which gave NCI responsibility for conducting research to prevent, diagnose, treat, and control cancer in humans. However, not until Congress enacted the National Cancer Act of 1971 was a separate cancer control program established. Originally, NCI administered the cancer control program from the NCI Director's Office, but in September 1974, NCI formed the Division of Cancer Control and Rehabilitation (DCCR), which is now responsible for program administration. DCCR administers the program through grants, contracts, and interagency agreements awarded to State and local health agencies, medical centers, and others. In the past 5 fiscal years, about 72 percent of the funds allocated for the cancer control program was obligated for contracts. GAO reviewed five NCI contracts to determine whether the cancer control program's objectives were being met, whether NCI was effectively administering the cancer control projects, whether funding and staffing levels were adequate, and whether advice provided by cancer control advisory groups was being implemented.

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