What CDC Is Doing About Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer in Young Women

CDC works with public, non-profit, and private partners to address breast cancer in women younger than 45 years of age through a variety of activities, including—

  • Our Bring Your Brave campaign, which provides information about breast cancer to women younger than age 45 by sharing real stories about young women whose lives have been affected by breast cancer.
  • The Advisory Committee on Breast Cancer in Young Women, which provides guidance regarding development, implementation, and evaluation of evidence-based activities aimed at prevention, early detection, and survivorship.
  • CDC’s Cancer Genomics Program develops best practices in education, surveillance, and policy and systems change approaches, and establishes an evidence base for the application of family history and cancer genomics in public health practice. Activities focus on hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome and Lynch syndrome.

Surveillance

Cancer surveillance is the collection of information about cancer, including—

  • Which groups of people were diagnosed with breast cancer.
  • How far the breast cancer had spread at the time it was diagnosed.
  • How the cancer was treated.

This information allows scientists to—

  • See how breast cancer rates change over time and whether more women are being diagnosed before their cancer has spread.
  • See which groups of people are more or less likely to get breast cancer.
  • Plan cancer prevention and control programs and determine if they are working.

CDC supports cancer surveillance through—

  • National Program of Cancer Registries (NPCR)
    Funded by CDC, this program collects information about cancers diagnosed in the United States through state-based cancer registries. This information is used in breast cancer research and to answer community questions and concerns about breast cancer.
  • Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)
    The BRFSS is the world’s largest ongoing telephone health survey system that gathers information by state on health risks in the United States. Information is collected about health behaviors (like exercise, diet, smoking, and drinking alcohol), family history, and other factors that may affect a person’s risk of getting cancer. The BRFSS also collects information about how many women have been screened for breast cancer.
  • National Health Interview Survey (NHIS)
    This survey collects information about a broad range of health topics, including information about breast cancer screening and risk factors for breast cancer.

Research

Community Programs

CDC supports many programs designed to prevent or control cancer.

  • CDC’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program provides quality breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to low-income, uninsured, and underserved women and supports strategies to increase screening rates in health systems and communities. These services can help find breast and cervical cancer at the earliest stages.
  • CDC’s National Comprehensive Cancer Control Program helps communities combine resources so they can develop and implement strategic plans that help lower the number of people getting cancer and help people with cancer get better treatment and have a better quality of life.
  • CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity helps people be physically active and stay at a healthy weight, which can help lower the risk of chronic health problems like breast cancer.
  • CDC’s National Office of Public Health Genomics examines the ways that research in human genetics can be used to improve health and prevent disease, including breast cancer.
Page last reviewed: September 14, 2020