Emory University researcher Lauren E. McCullough, PhD, MSPH, has discovered pronounced race disparities in breast cancer deaths in several Georgia counties. Disparities are differences in health between different groups of people. McCullough and her team are hosting a virtual forum to share information and gather community input on the possible causes of breast cancer inequities across the state.
McCullough, an associate professor of epidemiology at Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health and a researcher at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, said her research, which includes three studies published in the Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention and JNCI (Journal of the National Cancer Institute) Cancer Spectrum, shows that disparities in Georgia are not necessarily caused by access or current economic conditions, as is often the case. "The disparities we found in breast cancer deaths may have more to do with social and structural experiences than one’s current economic status," McCullough explained.
During the forum, McCullough and her team will present the data from their ongoing research, followed by smaller group discussions. The data include maps of Georgia counties that suffer most and the roles of housing discrimination and quality of care in breast cancer mortality disparities, among other issues.
"We want this to be a two-way conversation," McCullough said. "Georgia residents know their communities, and we can learn a lot about how to reduce disparities by listening to survivors and the people that care about them," she added.
The virtual community forum will be held on Tuesday, May 17, 2022, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Breast cancer survivors and their caregivers are invited to participate. Interested participants must reside in a Georgia county and register for the event by Monday, May 16, 2022, at connectingthebridge.com.
For more information about McCullough’s ongoing research, visit her lab's website.