Studying disparities in breast cancer screening

With funding from the Kuni Foundation, the Center for Outcomes Research & Education (CORE) will investigate disparities in breast cancer screening rates.

Early detection is key to improving cancer outcomes. However, data shows that individuals with lower socioeconomic status do not receive cancer screenings as often as other groups. Furthermore, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) are more likely to be diagnosed with cancer at more advanced stages, receive less aggressive treatment, and have a lower five-year survival rate. These facts paint a concerning picture of how inequities can lead to disparate outcomes in cancer care.

To better understand and address these issues, the Center for Outcomes Research and Education (CORE) is launching a study of disparities in breast cancer screening. With funding from the Kuni Foundation, CORE will examine factors both inside and outside of healthcare, with a focus on the social determinants of health such as economic insecurity, housing instability, social isolation, past trauma, and healthcare access. CORE will explore what impacts these factors may have on disparities in screening rates.

“Research has consistently shown that social and healthcare factors such as access to services or past trauma have a profound impact on outcomes; less is known about how they impact breast cancer screening,” explains Keri Vartanian, PhD, Director of CORE. “With the generous support of the Kuni Foundation, this study will help identify and address the factors driving these unacceptable disparities in cancer screenings.”

The "Enhancing Health Equity by Understanding the Key Drivers of Disparities in Breast Cancer Screening" study will reach out directly to thousands of patients eligible for mammography and examine barriers and facilitators to screening, with a specific focus on groups with inequitable screening rates. CORE will look at social and healthcare related factors – emphasizing specific factors recommended by patients and staff focus groups, with the goal of providing practice and policy recommendations to systems that improve population outcomes.

For more information, email CORE.