November 1st 2000
Although the causes and natural histories of breast and cervical cancer are different, the public health responses to these diseases have been similar. Early detection of breast cancer and primary prevention of cervical cancer are possible through community-based screening programs; however, early detection of both breast and cervical cancer is less common among low-income women (defined as up to 250% of poverty level, depending on family size). This report presents morbidity and mortality data regarding breast and cervical cancer, screening recommendations, an update on the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP), and recommended priority activities for the NBCCEDP. The NBCCEDP is a major public health effort to increase breast and cervical cancer screening among uninsured, low-income women.