Implementation of the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program: the beginning

Cancer. 2014 Aug 15;120 Suppl 16(0 16):2540-8. doi: 10.1002/cncr.28820.


In 1990, Congress passed the Breast and Cervical Cancer Mortality Prevention Act because of increases in the number of low-income and uninsured women being diagnosed with breast cancer. This act authorized the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to establish the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) to provide high-quality and timely breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to low-income, uninsured women. The program started in 1991, and, in 1993, Congress amended the act to allow the CDC to fund American Indian and Alaska Native tribes and tribal organizations. By 1996, the program was providing cancer screening across the United States. To ensure appropriate delivery and monitoring of services, the program adopted detailed policies on program management, evidence-based guidelines for clinical services, a systematized clinical data system to track service quality, and key partnerships that expand the program's reach. The NBCCEDP currently funds 67 programs, including all 50 states, the District of Columbia, 5 US territories, and 11 tribes or tribal organizations.

Keywords: National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program; breast cancer; cancer prevention; cancer screening program; cervical cancer; screening.

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Early Detection of Cancer / methods*
  • Female
  • Health Policy
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Mass Screening / organization & administration*
  • United States
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / diagnosis*