Research on Cancer in Black Women in the Mid-South Region to Receive $1.58M Grant

The Mid-South cancer patients are the focus of this in-depth qualitative analysis, which examines the various socio-cultural and structural elements that impact their experiences.

Aiming to uncover the root causes of breast cancer disparities among Black women in the Mid-South, a groundbreaking study has been funded by a generous grant of $1.58 million from Gilead Sciences, Inc. This study is set to make a significant contribution towards addressing the issue of breast cancer among Black women and pave the way for more effective interventions.

Dr. Janeane Anderson, an expert in health communication, and Dr. Gregory Vidal, a medical oncologist, will lead the research that aims to investigate the sociocultural and structural factors that contribute to cancer disparities, as reported by UTHSC News. The study’s importance is highlighted by concerning statistics.

Dr. Anderson, an assistant professor and social scientist at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s College of Nursing, expressed her concerns about the challenges Black women face at every stage of the cancer continuum in the South. She highlighted the issues of delays, access barriers, and unnecessary burden that affect the healthcare experience of Black women in the region.

According to recent data released by the American Cancer Society, Black women are 40% more likely to succumb to breast cancer than their white counterparts. Moreover, studies have shown that Arkansas and Mississippi, situated in the Mid-South region, are among the top 10 states in the US with the highest overall cancer rates.

In this study, we will delve into the experiences of three specific groups: Black women diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, those who are at a high risk of developing breast disease, and healthcare providers located in the Mid-South region. Our research methodology will utilize the Socio-Ecological Model and Critical Race Theory to provide a comprehensive framework for analyzing our findings.

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According to Dr. Vidal, this study holds significant potential in terms of its impact. As he puts it, “The Mid-South will benefit from the most comprehensive qualitative assessment of the ways in which social, economic, and health factors impact cancer patients.”

The researchers aim to identify actionable insights to address the pressing health issue of outcome disparities by examining multilevel factors. Dr. Anderson’s previous work focused on the effects of patient-clinician communication on health outcomes for Black adults, and this new study builds upon that.

Starting on July 1, individuals from various clinic sites across Arkansas, Tennessee, and Mississippi will be recruited for the three-year project.

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