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National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program

The National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) provides breast and cervical cancer early detection testing to low-income, underserved, under-insured, and uninsured women in the US. Uninsured women who are diagnosed with cancer through the NBCCEDP can usually get treatment through Medicaid.

This program is managed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It provides funding in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, 5 US territories, and 11 American Indian/Alaska Native tribes or tribal organizations.

Screening services are mainly offered through non-profit groups and local health clinics. Through these NBCCEDP partners, women without health insurance, or with insurance that does not cover these tests, can get breast and cervical cancer testing for free or at very low cost.

The NBCCEDP tries to reach as many women in medically underserved communities as possible, including older women, women who are recent immigrants, and women who are members of racial and ethnic minorities. Services offered for breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnosis include:

  • Clinical breast exams
  • Mammograms
  • Pap tests
  • Human papilloma virus (HPV) tests
  • Pelvic exams
  • Diagnostic testing if results are abnormal
  • Referrals for treatment

Though the program is administered in each state, the CDC provides matching funds and support for each state program. Since 1991, the NBCCEDP has

  • Provided more than 10.7 million screening exams for breast and cervical cancer to underserved women
  • Diagnosed more than 56,662 breast cancers
  • Found about 152,470 pre-cancerous cervical lesions
  • Diagnosed over 3,206 cervical cancers

The new health care law will help many low-income, underserved women get breast and cervical cancer screening tests by expanding insurance coverage and by taking away co-pays for these services. But even with good health insurance, many women will still have problems getting breast and cervical cancer screening because of things like:

    • Geographic isolation (living far away from needed health care services)

    • Problems understanding cancer screening and how it applies to them

    • Not having a provider who recommends screening

    • Inconvenient access to screening services

    • Language barriers

Situations like these are where the NBCCEDP will continue to help in the future.

To learn more about this program or to find a screening provider near you, please contact the CDC at 1-800-232-4636 or online at www.cdc.gov/cancer/nbccedp/. Your state Department of Health can also tell you how to contact your nearest NBCCEDP partner.

For more on the new health care law or how to enroll in a health plan, visit HealthCare.gov or GetCoveredAmerica.org, or call 1-800-318-2596.

No matter who you are, we can help. Contact us anytime, day or night, for cancer-related information and support. Call us at 1-800-227-2345 or visit www.cancer.org.

Last Medical Review: 09/10/2013
Last Revised: 09/10/2013