Date of Conferral





Public Health


Loretta Cain


The disparity between survival rates for Black and White women with breast cancer is well documented and has been examined in terms socioeconomics, environment, tumor type, and genetics. However, there is little examination of the role of health care facilities in cancer disparities. Health care facilities are representative of societal norms and beliefs that include location, quality of care, finance, policies, and staffing; therefore, they are a proxy for social justice and social change. The purpose of this study was to examine correlations between health care facility type; social determinants of cancer such as poverty, culture, and social justice; and breast cancer survival rates. Using the social determinants of cancer theoretical framework, the breast cancer survival rate of 4,087 Black and White women in Georgia between the ages of 45 and 69 was studied. The relationship between breast cancer survival and predictors including race, income, health care facility type, grade, and tumor type (4 sub-variables) were examined using the Kaplan-Meier Method, log-rank test, and Cox proportional hazard model. The log-rank test suggested no statistically significant difference in the survival functions among patients in different health care facilities (Ï?2(2) = 0.0150, p = 0.9926). The Cox proportional hazard model suggested no statistically significant relationship between breast cancer survival and health care facility type, after controlling for other predictors (Ï?2(2) = 0.3647, p = 0.8333). This result indicates that healthcare facilities do not influence breast cancer survival rates, however, given the persistent health outcome disparities further research in the area is warranted.

Available for download on Wednesday, November 13, 2019