Clinical Topics & News

Early Cancer Detection Helps Underserved Women


Nearly 60,000 breast and cervical cancers were caught and diagnosed between 1991 and 2011 through the CDC’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP).

The NBCCEDP is the only nationwide cancer screening program serving all 50 states, the District of Columbia, 5 U.S. territories, and 11 tribes or tribal organizations. In its first 20 years, the program served > 4.3 million women who might not otherwise have received preventive screenings. More than 10.7 million received mammograms and Pap tests.

More than 90% of the women in whom cancerous or precancerous lesions were detected received appropriate and timely follow-up care, according to a CDC report, published in an August 2014 supplement to Cancer. The supplement, National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program: Two Decades of Service to Underserved Women, contains 13 new papers that evaluate aspects of the NBCCEDP, showing “consistent value” in the program, the CDC says, even beyond its original purpose of detecting cancers in underserved women.

This is the first time detailed information has been published about the program’s screening activities and other interventions. Partnerships with national organizations, community-based organizations, government agencies, tribes, health care systems, and professional organizations have played a “critical role” in achieving NBCCEDP goals, the CDC says.

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Breast Cancer Treatment Among Rural and Urban Women at the Veterans Health Administration

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