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Prevention – Breast Cancer Screening

2017 HEDIS Bar Chart for Breast cancer screening graph: VA average 83 percent, non-VA average 68 percent

The graph above shows VA medical center scores compared with non-VA hospital scores for breast cancer screening. The percentages represent the number of patients who received the recommended screening. For this measure, a higher percentage indicates a higher quality of care, with 100 percent being the target.

What is this measure?
Breast cancer occurs when abnormal cells develop in breast tissue and grow out of control, forming a mass called a tumor.

What are we measuring?
It is recommended that women between 50 and 74 years old receive mammograms every two years to check for the presence of breast cancer. The graph above shows the percentage of women in this age range who met the criteria for and received a mammogram during the year.

Why is this important?
Screening is important to help find health problems before they cause symptoms. If breast cancer screening reveals a problem, diagnosis and treatment can occur promptly. In addition, finding and removing areas of abnormal cell growth may be one of the most effective ways to prevent breast cancer development. For example, breast cancer is generally more treatable when it is found early and hasn’t had a chance to spread.

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