Breast cancer page scrubbed from women's health website: report

Breast cancer page scrubbed from women's health website: report
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A webpage that focused on breast cancer was reportedly scrubbed from the website of the Department of Health and Human Services's (HHS) Office on Women's Health (OWH).

The changes on WomensHealth.gov — which include the removal of material on insurance for low-income people — were detailed in a new report from the Sunlight Foundation's Web Integrity Project and reported by ThinkProgress.

A spokesperson for HHS told ThinkProgress the page was removed Dec. 6, 2017 "because content was not mobile-friendly and very rarely used."

“Before we update any of the information … we engage in a comprehensive audit and use analysis process that includes reviewing other federal consumer health websites to ensure we are not duplicating efforts or presenting redundant information," the spokesperson said.

According to the report, content about mammogram breast cancer screening remains on the site. 

But "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 and are no longer found elsewhere on the OWH site," the report said.

"Among the material removed is information about provisions of the Affordable Care Act that require coverage of no-cost breast cancer screenings for certain women, as well as links to a free cancer screening program administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)," the report said.

"The office did not proactively announce or explain the removals."

The Sunlight Foundation previously reported that the website removed a webpage with extensive information about lesbian and bisexual health, and links that correspond to that webpage.