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Screening and Early Detection

Why is it important?

Screening refers to tests and exams used to find a disease, such as cancer, in people who do not have symptoms. Early detection of cancer increases chance of survivorship and reduces mortality and the impact of cancer in North Dakota.

There are many barriers to cancer screening for North Dakotans. These barriers can be grouped into four major areas:

  • financial and insurance restrictions

  • limited provider knowledge and referral

  • lack of consumer awareness

  • system inadequacies

These factors all contribute to low screening rates among special populations and the need to change the approach to cancer screening and early detection in North Dakota.

Screening and Early Detection Priorities

  1. Promote cancer screening education using a multi-component approach, including small media and one-to-one education.

  2. Promote informed and/or shared decision making based on personal and family history, by age-appropriate women and healthcare providers.

  3. Support healthcare provider eduation about the importance of obtaining detailed personal and family history identifying risk factors (inherited predisposition for cancer) that can initiate appropriate cancer screening.

  4. Support ongoing referral to Medicaid Expansion and marketplace insurance programs for screening.

2016-2017 Workgroup Activities

  • Implement campaign to promote the 80% by 2018 national Initiative. Provided education for health care providers and promoted implementation of ACS toolkits and other resources to increase colorectal cancer screening rates.
  • Facilitate the #TurnNDBlue Photo contest for Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.
  • Continue promoting breast and cervical cancer screening with informed and shared decision making.
  • Developed and implemented social media campaign for Breast Cancer awareness month including a social media toolkit used by partners statewide.


Workgroup Lead: Shannon Bacon   shannon.bacon@cancer.org