Over 20 years have passed since the CDC introduced its National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, resulting in serving 4.3 million underserved female patients in the United States from 1991 to 2011, the agency reported.

To mark the anniversary, Cancer ran a supplemental issue with 13 new papers reviewing multiple aspects of the program including the number of actual cancers detected, outreach, education and health-care collaboration activities.

“This is the first time detailed information has been published describing the program’s screening activities, and strategies beyond screening, used to reach underserved population,” wrote the agency in a press release.

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Highlights from the research include:

  • One of the uses for data reported to CDC is quality assurance, which monitors the quality of services provided by the NBCCEDP-funded programs. This monitoring can help identify issues with the services, determine the causes of the issues, and check whether these issues were corrected.
  • The estimated cost of providing cancer screening and diagnostic services through the NBCCEDP was $145 per woman. Cost estimates can be useful in future program planning.
  • Performance management and program effectiveness strategized improved service delivery through use of data, strong quality indicators, and investment in the program to ensure women are receiving timely screening, diagnostic follow up, and referral to treatment when needed.
  • Partnerships at national and local levels with national organizations and their members, community-based organizations, government agencies, tribes, healthcare systems, and professional organizations have played a critical role in achieving NBCCEDP goals.

The National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection program was implemented in 1990 in an effort to provide cancer screenings to underserved populations in the United States. 

“Over 24 years, the program has established strong capacity with the clinical care system to become the only nationwide cancer screening program,” wrote the agency.