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Integrating Biology and Access to Care in Addressing Breast Cancer Disparities: 25 Years’ Research Experience in the Carolina Breast Cancer Study

Citation

Emerson, Marc A.; Reeder-Hayes, Katherine E.; Tipaldos, Heather J.; Bell, Mary E.; Sweeney, Marina R.; Carey, Lisa A.; Earp, H. Shelton; Olshan, Andrew F.; & Troester, Melissa A. (Online ahead of print). Integrating Biology and Access to Care in Addressing Breast Cancer Disparities: 25 Years' Research Experience in the Carolina Breast Cancer Study. Current Breast Cancer Reports.

Abstract

Purpose of Review: To review research on breast cancer mortality disparities, emphasizing research conducted in the Carolina Breast Cancer Study, with a focus on challenges and opportunities for integration of tumor biology and access characteristics across the cancer care continuum. Recent Findings Black women experience higher mortality following breast cancer diagnosis, despite lower incidence compared to white women. Biological factors, such as stage at diagnosis and breast cancer subtypes, play a role in these disparities. Simultaneously, social, behavioral, environmental, and access to care factors are important. However, integrated studies of biology and access are challenging and it is uncommon to have both data types available in the same study population. The central emphasis of phase 3 of the Carolina Breast Cancer Study, initiated in 2008, was to collect rich data on biology (including germline and tumor genomics and pathology) and health care access in a diverse study population, with the long-term goal of defining intervention opportunities to reduce disparities across the cancer care continuum. Early and ongoing research from CBCS has identified important interactions between biology and access, leading to opportunities to build greater equity. However, sample size, population-specific relationships among variables, and complexities of treatment paths along the care continuum pose important research challenges. Interdisciplinary teams, including experts in novel data integration and causal inference, are needed to address gaps in our understanding of breast cancer disparities.

URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12609-020-00365-0

Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

Current Breast Cancer Reports

Author(s)

Emerson, Marc A.
Reeder-Hayes, Katherine E.
Tipaldos, Heather J.
Bell, Mary E.
Sweeney, Marina R.
Carey, Lisa A.
Earp, H. Shelton
Olshan, Andrew F.
Troester, Melissa A.

Year Published

Online ahead of print

Reference ID

12751