Breast Cancer, study, Black women

$1.58M Grant Funds Study On Cancer Among Black Women In Mid-South

The study is an extensive qualitative evaluation of socio-cultural and structural factors that affect cancer patients in the Mid-South.

A potentially groundbreaking study, funded by a $1.58 million grant from Gilead Sciences, Inc., aims to uncover the root causes of breast cancer disparities among Black women in the Mid-South.

Led by health communication expert Dr. Janeane Anderson and medical oncologist Dr. Gregory Vidal, the research will explore sociocultural and structural factors contributing to these disparities, according to the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. The study’s significance is underscored by alarming statistics.

“In the South, we see delays, access issues, and unnecessary burden at every step of the cancer continuum for Black women,” said Anderson, an assistant professor and social scientist at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s College of Nursing.

Recent data from the American Cancer Society reveals that Black women face a 40% higher breast cancer mortality rate compared to their white counterparts. Additional research found that Arkansas and Mississippi rank among the top 10 states with the highest overall cancer rates.

This qualitative exploration will involve three distinct groups: Black women with metastatic breast cancer, those at high risk for breast disease, and healthcare providers in the Mid-South region. The research design incorporates the Socio-Ecological Model and Critical Race Theory to provide a comprehensive framework for analysis.

“This study would be the most extensive qualitative evaluation of how social, economic, and health factors affect cancer patients in the Mid-South,” Vidal said.

By examining multilevel factors influencing outcome disparities, the researchers hope to identify actionable insights to address this pressing health issue. This new study builds upon Anderson’s previous work, which has focused on patient-clinician communication and its effects on health outcomes for Black adults.

Set to commence on July 1, the three-year project will recruit participants from various clinic sites across Arkansas, Tennessee, and Mississippi.

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