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Breast Cancer

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Government in action on breast cancer

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National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program

Through the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides low-income, uninsured, and underserved women access to timely breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services.

The U.S. government and women's health

To improve access to screening, Congress passed the Breast and Cervical Cancer Mortality Prevention Act of 1990, which guided CDC in creating the NBCCEDP. Currently, the NBCCEDP funds all 50 states, the District of Columbia, five U.S. territories, and 12 American Indian/Alaska Native tribes or tribal organizations to provide screening services for breast and cervical cancer. The program helps low-income, uninsured, and underinsured women gain access to breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services. These services include:

  • Clinical breast examinations
  • Mammograms
  • Pap tests
  • Pelvic examinations
  • Diagnostic testing if results are abnormal
  • Referrals to treatment

In 2000, Congress passed the Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Act, which gives states the option to offer women in the NBCCEDP access to treatment through Medicaid. To date, all 50 states and the District of Columbia have approved this Medicaid option. 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 Indians/Alaska Natives who are eligible for health services provided by the Indian Health Service or by a tribal organization.

For more details, including information on eligibility, visit the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program.

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National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Information Service

The National Cancer Institute's (NCI's) Cancer Information Service (CIS) is a federally funded program that was established in 1975 as an essential part of NCI's cancer education and information efforts. For over 35 years, NCI's CIS has been providing scientifically based, unbiased information to patients, their families and friends, physicians and other health professionals, and the general public about all aspects of cancer including:

  • Cancer research and clinical trials
  • Cancer prevention
  • Risk factors
  • Symptoms
  • Early detection
  • Diagnosis
  • Treatment
  • Living with cancer
  • Quitting smoking

NCI's CIS information specialists are trained to answer cancer related questions by telephone (800-4-CANCER), LiveHelp instant messaging, and email. In addition to answering questions about cancer and clinical trials, the NCI's CIS also operates the NCI's Smoking Quitline (877-44U-QUIT) which provides free cessation information and support to smokers who wish to quit. There is no charge or fee for this service. Service is provided in English and Spanish. NCI's CIS can also answer calls made through a telecommunications relay service (TRS) provider by people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

To learn more, visit the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Information Service.

Content last updated: November 17, 2010.

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