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Identifying Breast Cancer Screening Areas of Need

Georgia Comprehensive Cancer Registry

Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer incidence, and the second leading cause of cancer death, in Georgia women. Almost 5,300 malignant breast cancer cases are diagnosed and 1,100 women die of breast cancer every year in Georgia. Georgia's age-adjusted breast cancer incidence rate from 2003–2007 was 118.5 per 100,000, and the mortality rate was 23.7 per 100,000. The Georgia Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (BCCP) receives funding from CDC's National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, Master Settlement Agreement, and state revenue funds. This combined funding covers less than 15% of BCCP-eligible women.

Based on Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data, 76% of Georgia women aged 40 years or older received mammogram screening within the previous two years, which is similar to the national screening rate. However, the screening rate in Georgia varies by health district, from a low of 67.6% to a high of 81.6%.

Using data from the BRFSS, U.S. Census, and the Georgia Comprehensive Cancer Registry (GCCR), we determined that educated women are more likely to have been screened. Early-stage breast cancer diagnoses are highly correlated with increased breast cancer screening. Women living below the poverty line are less likely to report having been screened, and high-poverty areas are associated with higher rates of late-stage breast cancer. Based on the analysis, four out of 18 health districts need additional education targeting breast cancer screening.

Public Health District nurses have requested copies of this presentation of data, and additional analysis regarding breast cancer incidence has been requested at the county level. Both the BCCP's epidemiologist and GCCR's director have presented these findings at partnership meetings with Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the American Cancer Society, regional offices, and the Georgia Cancer Coalition regions.

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