Social Determinants of Black-White Disparities in Breast Cancer Mortality: A Review
ABSTRACT Despite the recent decline in breast cancer mortality, African American women continue to die from breast cancer at higher rates than do White women. Beyond the fact that breast cancer tends to be a more biologically aggressive disease in African American than in White women, this disparity in breast cancer mortality also reflects social barriers that disproportionately affect African American women. These barriers hinder cancer prevention and control efforts and modify the biological expression of disease. The present review focuses on delineating social, economic, and cultural factors that are potentially responsible for Black-White disparities in breast cancer mortality. This review was guided by the social determinants of health disparities model, a model that identifies barriers associated with poverty, culture, and social injustice as major causes of health disparities. These barriers, in concert with genetic, biological, and environmental factors, can promote differential outcomes for African American and White women along the entire breast cancer continuum, from screening and early detection to treatment and survival. Barriers related to poverty include lack of a primary care physician, inadequate health insurance, and poor access to health care. Barriers related to culture include perceived invulnerability, folk beliefs, and a general mistrust of the health care system. Barriers related to social injustice include racial profiling and discrimination. Many of these barriers are potentially modifiable. Thus, in addition to biomedical advancements, future efforts to reduce disparities in breast cancer mortality should address social barriers that perpetuate disparities among African American and White women in the United States.
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ABSTRACT: This paper examines the effect of neighborhood disadvantage on racial disparities in ovarian cancer-specific survival. Despite treatment advances for ovarian cancer, survival remains shorter for African-American compared to White women. Neighborhood disadvantage is implicated in racial disparities across a variety of health outcomes and may contribute to racial disparities in ovarian cancer-specific survival. Data were obtained from 581 women (100 African-American and 481 White) diagnosed with epithelial ovarian cancer between June 1, 1994, and December 31, 1998 in Cook County, IL, USA, which includes the city of Chicago. Neighborhood disadvantage score at the time of diagnosis was calculated for each woman based on Browning and Cagney's index of concentrated disadvantage. Cox proportional hazard models measured the association of self-identified African-American race with ovarian cancer-specific survival after adjusting for age, tumor characteristics, surgical debulking, and neighborhood disadvantage. There was a statistically significant negative association (-0.645) between ovarian cancer-specific survival and neighborhood disadvantage (p = 0.008). After adjusting for age and tumor characteristics, African-American women were more likely than Whites to die of ovarian cancer (HR = 1.59, p = 0.003). After accounting for neighborhood disadvantage, this risk was attenuated (HR = 1.32, p = 0.10). These findings demonstrate that neighborhood disadvantage is associated with ovarian cancer-specific survival and may contribute to the racial disparity in survival.Frontiers in Public Health 01/2015; 3:8. DOI:10.3389/fpubh.2015.00008
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ABSTRACT: African American women in the U.S. have a higher mortality rate from breast cancer than white women. Black-white differences in survival persist even after accounting for disease stage and tumor characteristics suggesting that the higher rates of breast cancer mortality are due to social factors. Several factors may account for racial differences in breast cancer mortality including socioeconomic factors, access to screening mammography and timely treatment, and biological factors. Efforts to prevent deaths from breast cancer and to address breast cancer disparities have focused on early detection through routine mammography and timely referral for treatment. There is a need for culturally appropriate, tailored health messages for African American women to increase their knowledge and awareness of health behaviors for the early detection of breast cancer. Several promising intervention approaches are reviewed in this article including: 1) the use of cell phone text messaging and smart phone apps to increase breast cancer screening; 2) the use of radio stations that target African American audiences ("black radio") for health promotion activities; and 3) church-based behavioral interventions to promote breast cancer screening among African American women.
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ABSTRACT: The authors investigated whether residential segregation (the degree to which racial/ethnic groups live separately from one another in a geographic area) 1) was associated with mortality among urban women with breast cancer, 2) explained racial/ethnic disparities in mortality, and 3) whether its association with mortality varied by race/ethnicity. Using Texas Cancer Registry data, all-cause mortality and breast-cancer mortality were examined among 109,749 urban black, Hispanic, and white women aged ≥50 years who were diagnosed with breast cancer from 1995 to 2009. Racial (black) segregation and ethnic (Hispanic) segregation of patient's neighborhoods were measured and were compared with the larger metropolitan statistical area using the location quotient measure. Shared frailty Cox proportional hazard models were used to nest patients within residential neighborhoods (census tract) and were controlled for race/ethnicity, age, diagnosis year, tumor stage, grade, histology, neighborhood poverty, and county-level mammography availability. Greater black segregation and Hispanic segregation were adversely associated with cause-specific mortality and all-cause mortality. For example, in adjusted models, Hispanic segregation was associated with cause-specific mortality (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.24; 95% confidence interval, 1.05-1.46). Compared with whites, blacks had higher mortality for both outcomes, whereas Hispanics demonstrated equivalent (cause-specific) or lower (all-cause) mortality. Segregation did not explain racial/ethnic disparities in mortality. Within each race/ethnicity strata, segregation was either adversely associated with mortality or was not significant. Among urban women with breast cancer in Texas, segregation has an independent, adverse association with mortality, and the effect of segregation varies by patient race/ethnicity. The novel application of a small-area measure of relative racial segregation should be examined in other cancer types with documented racial/ethnic disparities across varied geographic areas. Cancer 2015. © 2015 American Cancer Society. © 2015 American Cancer Society.Cancer 02/2015; DOI:10.1002/cncr.29282 · 5.20 Impact Factor