Healthy People 2020 Targets

Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer

Researchers looked at the nation’s progress toward reaching the Healthy People 2020 objectivesexternal icon for lung cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer in women, and colorectal cancer. Healthy People 2020 is the federal government’s disease prevention agenda for improving Americans’ health.

While there was some progress overall, more work needs to be done to address disparities in cancer screening and certain risk behaviors. For example, Healthy People targets were not met overall for cigarette smoking (12%), recent smoking cessation (8%), excessive alcohol use (25.4%), or obesity (30.5%).

Breast Cancer Screening

From 2008 to 2015, breast cancer screening increased slightly among Hispanic women, but dropped among another groups, including Asians, women in rural areas and those with public or no health insurance. The target for breast cancer screening (81.1%) was not met in any group except those with a college degree. Breast cancer screening uptake was lowest among uninsured women (35.4%).

Photo of a woman getting a mammogram
Colorectal (Colon) Cancer Screening

There was some improvement in colorectal cancer screening, which increased about 10% from 52.5% in 2008 to 62.4% in 2017 overall. Screening increased by 35% or more in American Indians and Alaska Natives, Hispanics, and people without health insurance.

Photo of a man and a woman talking to their doctor
Lung Cancer Screening

Lung cancer screening for adults at high risk increased from 2010 to 2015 in most groups except Hispanics and those with less than a high school education. But the screening rate was still low overall, with only 1 in 16 adults getting screened as recommended.

Photo of a man receiving a CT scan