Expanding access to cancer screening and clinical follow-up among the medically underserved

Cancer Pract. 1995 Jan-Feb;3(1):19-30.


Blacks have the highest cancer incidences and mortality rates in the United States. Higher mortality rates appear due to higher incidence in some sites and to later-stage diagnoses in others. To address these problems, expanded cancer screening in an inner-city public hospital and a patient navigator intervention were proposed. Patient navigators acted as patient advocates for patients with abnormal screening findings. One thousand thirty-four females and 102 males were screened from July 1990 through November 1992; seven breast cancers and one cervical cancer were found. Patient navigators were significantly more likely to have seen patients with suspicious findings than patients with non-suspicious findings. However, even among those with suspicious findings, almost 70% were not seen by a patient navigator. Of those navigated, 87.5% completed recommended breast biopsies, compared with 56.6% of the non-navigated patients. Among those with a biopsy, navigated patients did so in significantly less time than those not navigated. Navigation is one of three phases proposed to reduce cancer mortality among medically underserved populations.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aftercare
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Black or African American
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Patient Advocacy*
  • Urban Health