Early Detection of Breast and Cervical Cancer

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A new study published in Preventing Chronic Disease looks at screening and survival for women in the Ohio Breast and Cervical Cancer Program.

The Ohio program is 1 of 67 programs that are part of CDC’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP). The NBCCEDP is the largest organized national cancer screening program in the United States. It is managed by CDC through cooperative agreements awarded to health departments in every state, the District of Columbia, 5 US territories, and 11 American Indian/Alaska Native tribes or tribal organizations. For more than 2 decades, the NBCCEDP has provided access to breast and cervical cancer screening, diagnostic tests, and treatment to more than 4.7 million low-income, uninsured, and underinsured women.

The stage of cancer at the time of diagnosis is a strong predictor of cancer survival. Recent studies conducted by CDC researchers show that among women served by the NBCCEDP, late-stage breast cancer was more common among older women and those with symptoms. Late-stage cervical cancer was more common among older women and those who had not been screened within the last 5 years. Similar to Ohio’s findings, other studies show that women enrolled in the NBCCEDP tend to have higher rescreening rates as they transition into Medicare. These findings indicate the continuing need for the NBCCEDP to reach medically underserved women and the importance of an organized approach to improve cancer screening.

The NBCCEDP is grounded in science and 24 years of experience in delivering high quality cancer screening services. Strategic partnerships, program innovations, and continuous monitoring helps to inform and improve our work. The program has learned many lessons that could be applied to new and emerging opportunities in our rapidly changing health care environment. The most important thing for us to remember is why we’re here – to serve millions of women nationwide, saving thousands of lives along the way.

For more information about CDC’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, visit http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/nbccedp/.


CAPT Jacqueline W. Miller, MD
Medical Director, National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program
Division of Cancer Prevention and Control
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


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Page last reviewed: July 21, 2015
Page last updated: July 21, 2015