A framework for improving the quality of cancer care: the case of breast and cervical cancer screening

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Algorithms; Breast Neoplasms; Delivery of Health Care; Female; Humans; *Mass Screening; Organizational Objectives; Outcome and Process Assessment (Health Care); Quality Assurance, Health Care; United States; Uterine Cervical Neoplasms


Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Preventive Medicine


This commentary presents a conceptual framework, Quality in the Continuum of Cancer Care (QCCC), for quality improvement studies and research. Data sources include review of relevant literature (cancer care, quality improvement, organizational behavior, health services evaluation, and research). The Detecting Early Tumors Enables Cancer Therapy (DETECT) project is used to apply the QCCC model to evaluate the quality of secondary prevention. Cancer care includes risk assessment, primary prevention, screening, detection, diagnosis, treatment, recurrence surveillance, and end-of-life care. The QCCC model represents a systematic approach for assessing factors that influence types of cancer care and the transitions between them, the factors at several levels (community, plan and practice setting) that potentially impact access and quality, and the strategies groups and organizations can consider to reduce potential failures. Focusing on the steps and transitions in care where failures can occur can facilitate more organized systems and medical practices that improve care, establish meaningful measures of quality that promote improved outcomes, and enhance interdisciplinary research.


Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2003 Jan;12(1):4-13.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers and prevention : a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, cosponsored by the American Society of Preventive Oncology

Related Resources

Link to article in PubMed

PubMed ID