Breast Cancer

Once assessment and planning have been completed, including analysis of the collected data, the next step is implementing the strategies and interventions that will comprise the workplace health program. The intervention descriptions on this page include the public health evidence-base for each intervention, details on designing interventions for breast cancer screening, and links to examples and resources.

Multi-component interventions that include communications/media, education, reduction of barriers, and enhanced access to care will increase employees’ awareness of and participation in screening, prevention, and treatment.

Before implementing any interventions, the evaluation plan should also be developed. Potential baseline, process, health outcomes, and organizational change measures for these programs are listed under evaluation of breast cancer screening programs.

Breast cancer is the second most common cause of cancer deaths among adult women.

  • In 2017, more than 250,000 women were diagnosed with breast cancer, and 42,000 women died as a result of breast cancer1
  • Mammography screening is a valuable early detection tool that can identify breast cancer at an early stage when treatment is more effective and less expensive. The 5-year survival rate for patients diagnosed with localized breast cancer is 99%, compared to about 27% of those diagnosed at the most advanced stage2
  • Breast cancer has the highest treatment cost of any cancer. Thirteen percent of all cancer treatment costs in the United States are for breast cancer3

The United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends this screening schedule for women who are of average risk.

  • Women aged 50-74 years should receive screening mammography, with or without clinical breast examination, every 2 years.
  • For women younger than 50 years of age, the decision to start mammography screening should be made in consultation with their physician and take into consideration such factors as family history and general health
  • Women whose family history is associated with an increased risk of “breast cancer genes (mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes)” should be referred for genetic counseling and evaluation for BRCA testing
  • Against routine referral for genetic counseling or routine breast cancer susceptibility gene (BRCA) testing for women whose family history is not associated with an increased risk for breast cancer genes
  • Clinicians should discuss chemo preventive medications, such as tamoxifen, with women at high risk for breast cancer and at low risk for adverse effects of preventive medication use

Screening mammography refers to mammography used as part of a regular preventive services plan and not to mammograms used to follow up on abnormal radiologic or physical findings.

In Rankings of Preventable Services for the U.S. Population, the Partnership for Prevention provides an approach to ranking preventive services according to their clinically preventable burden (CPB) and cost effectiveness (CE). CPB is the disease, injury and premature death that would be prevented if the service were delivered to all people in the target population. With this approach, mammography screening received a ranking of 6 on a scale of 1-10, with 10 the highest ranking.



1.  U.S. Cancer Statistics Working Group. U.S. Cancer Statistics Data Visualizations Tool, based on 2019 submission data (1999-2017): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Cancer Institute;, released in June 2020.

2.  American Cancer Society. Breast cancer facts & figures 2005-2006. Atlanta, GA: American Cancer Society, Inc.

3.  Mariotto AB, Robin Yabroff K, Shao Y, Feuer EJ, Brown ML. Projections of the cost of cancer care in the United States: 2010–2020. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2011;103(2):117–128.