Breast Cancer Information Removed from Department of Health and Human Services Website

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A webpage that provided breast cancer information on the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) website has been removed after an audit found that the information was "very rarely used" and duplicated that of sister agencies.

"Content about mammogram breast cancer screening remains, informational pages and factsheets about the disease, including symptoms, treatment, risk factors, and public no- or low-cost cancer screening programs, have been entirely removed," said findings from the nonprofit Sunlight Foundation's Web Integrity Project, which was reported by ThinkProgress.

The information used to live on the Office on Women's Health (OWH) webpage; the organization is part of HHS and spearheads women's health-related activities across the agency.

Breast cancer screen
Widespread screening for breast cancer didn't do much to save women's lives, study finds A recent study suggests widespread screening for breast cancer didn't do much to save women's lives. Heather Charles/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images

HHS also removed provisions of the Affordable Care Act from its page as well as links to a free cancer screening program sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The information was removed in December because the content "was not mobile-friendly and very rarely used," a HHS spokesperson said in a statement to Newsweek.

HHS said that there is already a page for general women's cancer information, as well as links to the National Cancer Institute. The agency noted that sister agencies NCI and the CDC "have the same information in a much more user-friendly format on their websites."

HHS also expressed that before updates are put into their website, a "comprehensive audit and use analysis process" is done. The agency said that a review of other federal consumer health websites ensure that "redundant information" is not presented. The agency cited a past case from the launch of https://women.smokefree.gov, where information was removed "because it was no longer necessary."

Additionally, Sunlight reported that the updates are part of larger changes to the website that include the removal of information related to lesbian and bisexual health and minority women's health.

Breast Cancer Information Removed from Department of Health and Human Services Website | U.S.