Women in rural and remote northern Alberta access breast cancer screening through a mobile mammogram program (Screen Test). The Enhanced Access to Cervical and Colorectal Cancer Screening (EACS) project was a 2-year pilot that aimed to integrate cervical and colorectal cancer screening with the Screen Test program. This study compares cervical and colorectal cancer screening uptake among women screened through the pilot (Screen Test-EACS) versus Screen Test.
Screen Test-EACS was offered between 2013 and 2015 in selected rural and remote sites, with a focus on hard-to-reach women living in First Nations, Métis and Hutterite communities. Participation in cervical and colorectal cancer screening was analyzed for Screen Test and Screen Test-EACS participants 6 weeks before clients received their mammogram and then again 3 months after.
A total of 8390 and 1312 women participated in Screen Test and Screen Test-EACS, respectively. Screen Test-EACS significantly increased uptake of cervical (10.1% v. 27.5%) and colorectal (10.9% v. 22.5%) cancer screening, increasing the prevalence of women up to date with screening from 52.5% to 62.9% for cervical cancer screening and from 37.3% to 48.7% for colorectal cancer screening.
Screen Test-EACS increased participation in and the overall prevalence of cervical and colorectal cancer screening among hard-to-reach clients in northern Alberta, probably through removal of barriers to access and increased awareness. Further research should focus on balancing the benefits of increased participation with the costs and potential risks of over-screening.