Research, Early Intervention, and Effective Communications Underpin Kaiser Permanente’s Multi-Year Record of Success in Combating Breast Cancer

February 23, 2024

Sometimes women are so busy taking care of others that they leave one important thing off their to-do lists: Get my mammogram. 

// By Althea Fung //

Althea FungOne in eight women in the U.S. will develop invasive breast cancer at some point in their lifetime. In recent years, the rate of breast cancer incidences has been slowly increasing, particularly in women under age 50. But breast cancer is highly treatable when caught early. The five-year survival rate for women with stage 1 breast cancer is 99 percent, according to the American Cancer Society.

For decades, Kaiser Permanente, a health system serving more than 12 million members across eight states and the District of Columbia, has combined clinical research with marketing to encourage increased breast cancer screening and treatment. This commitment to preventive care has led to better outcomes for patients.

According to a 2023 study published in the Permanente Journal, Kaiser detects more cases of breast cancer when compared to SEER, the national cancer registry that collects data on reported cancer cases and has higher five-year survival rates. The study authors attribute these higher rates to strong prevention programs that focus on early detection and integrated care programs through the system.

But a critical piece of their success also lies in how the system communicates with members about cancer prevention services.

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