Patterns of breast and cervical cancer screening at three public health centers in an inner-city urban area

Am J Public Health. 1991 Dec;81(12):1651-3. doi: 10.2105/ajph.81.12.1651.


In an effort to examine breast and cervical cancer screening patterns among poor African-American urban women, medical records were abstracted at three public health centers located in the inner city of Chicago. The proportions of eligible women at these three centers who received Pap smears, breast examinations, and mammograms were computed. These proportions were notably low and differed significantly among the three centers. Because the literature is now suggesting that an appropriate sequence best defines adequate screening, sequences of screenings were also determined and were found to be lacking. All of these screening histories fall far below the screening objectives set by the National Cancer Institute for the year 2000. This information suggests that interventions are needed that will help health centers serving poor women to deliver more frequent cancer screening.

MeSH terms

  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Breast Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Chicago / epidemiology
  • Community Health Centers / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Health Services Research
  • Humans
  • Mammography / statistics & numerical data
  • Mass Screening / standards*
  • Mass Screening / statistics & numerical data
  • Papanicolaou Test
  • Poverty*
  • Quality of Health Care
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / pathology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Vaginal Smears / statistics & numerical data