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Frequently Asked Questions about Working with the BCSC

1. What is the usual timeline for the proposal process, from submitting the proposal to the SCC to receiving the data?

It takes approximately 2 to 4 months after submitting a proposal to the BCSC to receive data.

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2. How do I start?

To start working with the BCSC, you need to develop a concept to use the BCSC data. Several resources are available to help you formulate your scientific question in Steps for Submitting a Proposal & Using BCSC Data.

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3. If I have a project concept, who do I contact?

Once you've developed a scientific concept, you can contact the SCC at and/or one of the Principal Investigators of one of the BCSC sites.

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4. Are there enough women in the BCSC to provide an adequate sample for my project?

To gain a better understanding of the BCSC data, please see tables describing the distributions of some key variables and additional tables and graphs in Data Elements & Questionnaires.

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5. How representative are the BCSC data?

Two important goals of the BCSC are that the data collected reflect mammography practice as it is performed in the community and that the population of women in the BCSC reflect the distribution of women in the U.S. who undergo mammography. A comparison of women represented in the BCSC against 2000 Census data shows that BCSC sites are located in counties that contain slightly more than 5% of the nation's population. As the following table shows, data in the BCSC reflect the national population in several important respects.

    BCSC Counties All other US Counties
Sociodemographic Characteristics Median Family Income $55,189 $50,984
Percent Unemployed 3.4% 4.1%
Percentage With a High School Degree 84.5% 80.2%
Percentage of Women Aged 40+ 22.0% 22.7%
Sociodemographic Characteristics in Women Aged 40+ Percent Hispanic 6.9% 7.3%
Percent Black 8.9% 10.9%

Data Source: 2000 Census
Adapted from Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium: Evaluating Screening Performance in Practice

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