The National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) has played a critical role in providing cancer screening services to American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/ANs) women and strengthening tribal screening capacity. Since 1991, the NBCCEDP has funded states, tribal nations, and tribal organizations to develop and implement organized screening programs. The ultimate goal is to deliver breast and cervical cancer screening to women who do not have health insurance and cannot afford to pay for these services. The delivery of clinical services is supported through complementary program efforts such as professional development, public education and outreach, and patient navigation. This article seeks to describe the growth of NBCCEDP's tribal commitment and the unique history and aspects of serving the AI/AN population. The article describes: 1) how this program has demonstrated success in improving screening of AI/AN women; 2) innovative partnerships with the Indian Health Service, state programs, and other organizations that have improved tribal public health infrastructure; and 3) the evolution of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention work with tribal communities.
Keywords: Alaska Natives; American Indians; breast cancer; cervical cancer; early detection of cancer; partnerships.
© 2014 American Cancer Society.