U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Indian Health Service: The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives
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  Quality of IHS Health Care

Performance Measures

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Health Topic: Cancer Screening
Screening women ages 50 to 64 every two years has been shown to lower the death rate from breast cancer. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among U.S. women (lung cancer is first). Although breast cancer deaths have dropped since 1990, this is not the case for AI/AN women. Between 1992 and 2002, the death rate from breast cancer was lower for all racial and ethnic groups except for AI/AN women.

Who should be screened for breast cancer?
Woman ages 50 to 64 should have a mammogram at least every two years and be screen for breast cancer. Having a regular mammogram can lower the chance of dying from breast cancer by 20% to 25%. In fact, AI/AN women with breast cancer have a lower chance of living five years after being diagnosed than white women. This is mainly because AI/AN women are less likely to have their cancer found in the earlier stages of cancer. This is the main reason that breast cancer screening remains one of the highest priorities of IHS.

What is the GPRA measure?
The GPRA measure is the percentage of IHS AI/AN female patients ages 52 to 64 who have had mammography (breast cancer) screening at least once in the past two years.

How is IHS doing?
The United States long-term goal is for 81.1% of female patients ages 50-74 to receive a mammogram at least once every two years by the year 2020 (Healthy People 2020). The IHS 2012 goal was to achieve the rate of 51.7% for the proportion of female patients ages 52-64 who have had mammography screening within the last 2 years. IHS exceeded the goal by reaching 51.9%. The bars on the graph below show that the rate has increased from 42% in 2002 to 51.9% in 2012. However, beginning in 2010 refusals was removed from the rates. So, the 2002-2009 rates cannot be compared with the 2010-2012 rates.

Percentage of IHS AI/AN Female Patients  with Breast Cancer Screening (Mammography)  (IHS 2013 goal is 49.7%)  NOTE: A higher score is better

View a table of this chart's data.

Year Percent
2002 42
2003 40
2004 40
2005 41
2006 41
2007 43
2008 45
2009 45
2010 48
2011 49.8
2012 51.9
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To see how IHS is doing on this measure at the Area (regional) levels, click here.