About the Program
To improve access to breast and cervical cancer screening, Congress passed the Breast and Cervical Cancer Mortality Prevention Act of 1990, which directed CDC to create the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP). The NBCCEDP funds award recipients in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, 2 U.S. territories, 5 U.S.-Affiliated Pacific Islands, and 13 American Indian and Alaska Native tribes or tribal organizations.
In 2000, Congress passed the Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Act, which allowed states to offer those who are diagnosed with cancer in the NBCCEDP access to treatment through Medicaid. In 2001, with passage of the Native American Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Technical Amendment Act, Congress explained that this option also applies to American Indian and Alaska Native women who are eligible for health services provided by the Indian Health Service or by a tribal organization.
Through the NBCCEDP, CDC helps those with low incomes who do not have adequate insurance gain access to timely breast and cervical cancer screening, diagnostic, and treatment services. NBCCEDP also provides patient navigation services to help them overcome barriers and get timely access to quality care.
In addition to funding screening and diagnostic services for those eligible, the NBCCEDP focuses on factors at the interpersonal, organizational, community, and policy levels that influence screening. The program supports use of population-based approaches to improve systems that increase high-quality breast and cervical cancer screening. These include—
Implementing evidence-based interventions in health systems.
Connecting those eligible in the community to screening services.
Informing policies that increase access to cancer screening.
In this video, Dr. Lisa Richardson, Director of CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, reflects on 30 years of the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program.
For more information, visit ScreenOutCancer.
Since 1991, NBCCEDP-funded programs have—
- Served more than 6.0 million women.
- Provided more than 15.6 million breast and cervical cancer screening examinations.
- Diagnosed 74,891 invasive breast cancers and 23,707 premalignant breast lesions.
- Diagnosed 5,066 invasive cervical cancers and 232,428 premalignant cervical lesions, of which 39% were high-grade.
During 2015–2017, about 5.7% of U.S. women were eligible for NBCCEDP cervical cancer screening services, and the program served 6.8% of those eligible. During 2016–2017, about 5.3% of U.S. women were eligible for NBCCEDP breast cancer screening services, and the program served 15.0% of those eligible.
In 2020, the NBCCEDP—
- Provided breast cancer screening and diagnostic services to 227,013 women and diagnosed 2,308 invasive breast cancers and 639 premalignant breast lesions.
- Provided cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to 98,868 women and diagnosed 110 invasive cervical cancers and 5,744 premalignant cervical lesions, of which 34% were high-grade.