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Helping Rural Counties Access Breast Cancer Screening

Texas Cancer Registry

Tarrant County and five surrounding counties (Denton, Wise, Parker, Hood, and Johnson) are in Texas' Health Service Region (HSR) 03. Texas Cancer Registry data indicated that this HSR had the highest incidence of invasive breast cancer when compared with the rest of the state. It was also noted that access to mammography screening and subsequent screening rates were less than optimal. To address this issue, the University of Texas (UT) Southwestern/Moncrief Cancer Resources proposed expanding its Breast Screening and Patient Navigation (BSPAN) evidence-based program to include Denton, Wise, Parker, Hood, and Johnson counties, which are rural and underserved.

BSPAN/UT Southwestern/Moncrief Cancer Resources staff met with Texas Cancer Registry epidemiologists and the Texas Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening (BCCS) program to discuss the best possible cancer registry data analysis, and how to coordinate optimally with the BCCS program. BSPAN's program also was designed according to guidelines issued in the 2005 Texas Cancer Plan, a significant part of the Texas Comprehensive Cancer Control Program.

BSPAN used Texas Cancer Registry data to demonstrate an important need for services and propose a means for program monitoring and evaluation (incidence and changes in stage at diagnosis) for the six-county area. They obtained more than $900,000 from the new Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas to expand their program from Tarrant County to the five neighboring rural and underserved counties, increasing access to breast cancer screening, diagnostic mammograms, and biopsies.

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