NH Comprehensive Cancer Collaboration Reports Lower Cancer Screening Rates in Vulnerable Populations

CONCORD, NH – The NH Comprehensive Cancer Collaboration (NHCCC) recently released a White Paper, Examining Preventive Cancer Screening Rates Among Vulnerable Adults in New Hampshire, that highlights a significant correlation between social determinants of health and lower cancer screening rates within vulnerable populations.

“The NH Comprehensive Cancer Collaboration is extremely proud to release this white paper and its findings,” stated Robert Gerlach, Chair of the NH CCC Board of Directors.  “It’s a great example of how partners collaborated to identify a vulnerable population in NH, using employment as a social determinant of health, and targeted the distribution of free cancer screening messages.”

The white paper was developed by the Collaboration’s Equity Task Force, who used an innovative approach to identify vulnerable populations that are less likely to be screened for cancers, such as breast and cervical.  After reviewing numerous data sets, the Task Force selected employment as a key social determinant of health, using industry and occupation data, and compared it with cancer screening rates to identify workplaces where there could be opportunities to reach vulnerable populations. The analysis showed that women working in the restaurant industry were less likely to receive recommended breast and cervical cancer screenings. In addition, 39% reported not being up to date on breast cancer screening compared to the state rate of 21% not being up to date.  Access to breast cancer screening is critical, as breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer deaths among NH females.

The Task Force selected the restaurant and food service industry to conduct a targeted media campaign about free breast and cervical cancer screening because of the demonstrated disparities in screening rates, relatively high prevalence of social diversity, and feasibility of being able to connect with small business owners and managers of restaurants.  An infographic  highlighting breast and cervical cancer screening messages and the availability of FREE screenings, developed by the NH Breast and Cervical Cancer Program, was distributed in both English and Spanish to 1,200 restaurants statewide.  The report can be downloaded in full at:


About the New Hampshire Comprehensive Cancer Collaboration

The New Hampshire Comprehensive Cancer Collaboration (NHCCC) was established in 2004 to address the leading cause of death in New Hampshire. The NHCCC is a dedicated partnership of individuals and organizations committed to eliminating cancer in the state. The NHCCC developed the New Hampshire Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan to address the following priorities: foster communities and systems that support and reinforce healthy lifestyles, prevent and detect cancer at its earliest stage, and optimize quality of life for those affected by cancer.  For more information about the NHCCC and the New Hampshire Cancer Plan, visit www.NHCancerPlan.org.