Early Detection and Screening Can Save Lives & Money

April 30, 2024

Early detection of breast and cervical cancer through screening can improve survival and reduce mortality by finding cancer at an early stage when treatment is more effective and less expensive. However, research has shown there are many barriers to cancer screening for people with limited income, including access to providers and facilities, costs of screening and care, lack of knowledge and understanding about the role of screening, as well as barriers like time off work and access to childcare. Unfortunately, people who are uninsured and underinsured have lower breast and cervical cancer screening rates, resulting in a greater risk of being diagnosed at a later, more advanced stage of disease.[i]


To address these barriers and increase screening rates, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) provides breast and cervical cancer screenings, diagnostic tests, and treatment referral services to U.S. communities that are limited-income, underserved, underinsured, or uninsured. In addition to direct support, the NBCCEDP relies on partnerships to address many of the structural and economic barriers limited-income people face when it comes to getting screened.[ii]


[i] American Cancer Society. Cancer Prevention & Early Detection Facts & Figures 2021-2022. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2021.

[ii] Lee NC, Wong FL, Jamison PM, Jones SF, Galaska L, Brady KT, Wethers B, Stokes-Townsend GA. Implementation of the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program: the beginning. Cancer. 2014 Aug 15;120 Suppl 16(0 16):2540-8. doi: 10.1002/cncr.28820. PMID: 25099896; PMCID: PMC4481738.