Cancer screening among community health center women: eliminating the gaps

J Ambul Care Manage. 1999 Oct;22(4):45-52. doi: 10.1097/00004479-199910000-00008.


Objective: The elimination of health status gaps among minority and low income populations is part of the mission of community health centers (CHCs). Cervical and breast cancer incidence and mortality are related to both minority and socioeconomic status, and CHCs are in a unique position, by virtue of their target population, to effect positive outcomes through screening and early detection.

Methods: Completed in 1995, the survey described in this article included questions from the 1992 NHIS Cancer Supplement, which collected information on the utilization of cancer-screening services, including Pap smear testing, mammography, and clinical breast examination.

Results: CHCs are providing access to Pap smear testing, mammography, and clinical breast examination for women who are at an increased risk for morbidity and mortality associated with cancers of the cervix and breast. A higher proportion of CHC women of most racial and ethnic groups and women below poverty level are up to date on cancer screening than comparison groups. In most cases, CHC women meet or exceed the Healthy People 2000 objectives for the nation.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Breast Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Community Health Centers / organization & administration*
  • Community Health Centers / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Mammography / statistics & numerical data
  • Mass Screening / organization & administration*
  • Middle Aged
  • Minority Groups
  • Papanicolaou Test
  • Physical Examination / statistics & numerical data
  • Poverty
  • United States
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Vaginal Smears / statistics & numerical data
  • Women's Health Services / organization & administration*