restricted access A Comparison of Breast and Cervical Cancer Legislation and Screening in Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina

We identified legislation (1989-2005) relating to breast and cervical cancer in Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina and examined its impact on screening rates for these cancers and on Black-White disparities in screening rates. Legislation was identified using the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) State Cancer Legislative Database (SCLD) Program. Screening rates were identified using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Georgia and North Carolina enacted more laws on breast and cervical cancer than did South Carolina. The laws specifically intended to increase breast and cervical cancer screening were mandates requiring that insurance policies cover such screening; Georgia and North Carolina enacted such laws, but South Carolina did not. However, we were unable to demonstrate an effect of these laws on either screening rates or disparities. This may reinforce the importance of evidence-based health promotion programs to increase screening.