Hospice use is low in Latinos but we know little about explanations for this pattern.
To describe factors associated with knowledge of and intention to use hospice for cancer care.
We conducted a Spanish-language, interviewer-administered cross-sectional survey of 331 Latino immigrants from Central and South America in safety-net clinics. Hospice intentions were measured using a hypothetical scenario. We used logistic regression and multiple imputations to test associations between cultural values, social acculturation, and other variables and knowledge and intentions.
Only 29% knew about hospice and 35% would choose hospice care (once it was defined). Collectivist (group-focused) views (odds ratio [OR] 1.06 per 1-point increase, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.01-1.12, p=.05), endorsing family-centric values (OR 1.03 per 1-point increase, 95% CI 1.01-1.04, p=.004), and higher education were associated with greater hospice knowledge after considering covariates. Greater social ties were also independently associated with greater knowledge, but knowledge was not related to hospice intentions. Individuals who believed in maintaining secrecy about prognosis were 19% less likely to choose hospice than those who did not endorse secrecy (OR 0.81, 95% CI 0.67-0.99, p=.038). The most socially acculturated individuals were significantly more likely to choose hospice than those with less acculturation (OR 1.19 for each 1-unit increase, 95% CI 10.6-1.34, p=.004).
Hospice knowledge may be necessary but is not sufficient to increase hospice use among immigrant Latinos. Latino social networks and organizations may provide a natural leverage point for interventions. Interventions to increase hospice use may need to consider culturally related values.
false-positive results; life expectancy-based screening; overdiagnosis; risk-based screening; screening frequency; screening mammography
Shared breast cancer treatment decision-making between patients and physicians increases patient treatment satisfaction and compliance and is influenced by physician-related factors. Attitudes and behaviors about patient involvement in breast cancer treatment decisions and treatment-related communication were assessed by specialty among breast cancer physicians of women enrolled in the Breast Cancer Quality of Care Study (BQUAL).
Of 275 BQUAL physicians identified, 50.0% responded to the survey. Most physicians spend 46–60 min with the patient during the initial consult visit and 51.5% report that the treatment decision is made in one visit. Oncologists spend more time with new breast cancer patients during the initial consult (p = 0.021), and find it more difficult to handle their own feelings than breast surgeons (p = <0.001).
Breast surgeons and oncologists share similar attitudes and behaviors related to patient involvement in treatment decision-making, yet oncologists report more difficulty managing their own feelings during the decision-making process.
Breast cancer; Treatment decision-making; Physician survey; Patient participation
Black women in the District of Columbia (DC) have the highest breast cancer mortality in the US. Local cancer control planners are interested in how to most efficiently reduce this mortality.
An established simulation model was adapted to reflect the experiences of Black women in DC and estimate the past and future impact of changes in use of screening and adjuvant treatment.
The model estimates that the observed reduction in mortality that occurred from 1975 to 2007 attributable to screening, treatment, and both was 20.2%, 25.7%, and 41.0% respectively. The results suggest that, by 2020, breast cancer mortality among Black women in DC could be reduced by 6% more by initiating screening at age 40 vs. age 50. Screening annually may also reduce mortality to a greater extent than biennially, albeit with a marked increase in false positive screening rates.
This study demonstrates how modeling can provide data to assist local planners as they consider different cancer control policies based on their individual populations.
Physician and patient decision styles may influence breast cancer care for patients ≥ 65 years (“older”) because there is uncertainty about chemotherapy benefits in this group. We evaluate associations between decision-making styles and actual treatment.
Data were collected from women treated outside of clinical trials for newly diagnosed stage I to III breast cancer (83% response) from January 2004 through April 2011 in 75 cooperative group sites. Physicians completed a one-time mailed survey (91% response), and clinical data were abstracted from charts. Patient decision style was measured on a five-point scale. Oncologists' preference for prescribing chemotherapy was based on standardized vignettes. Regression and multiple imputation were used to assess associations between chemotherapy and other variables.
There were 1,174 women seen by 212 oncologists; 43% of women received chemotherapy. One-third of women preferred to make their own treatment decision. Patient and physician decision styles were independently associated with chemotherapy. Women who preferred less physician input had lower odds of chemotherapy than women who preferred more input (odds ratio [OR] = 0.79 per 1-point change; 95% CI, 0.65 to 0.97; P = .02) after considering covariates. Patients whose oncologists had a high chemotherapy preference had higher odds of receiving chemotherapy (OR = 2.65; 95% CI, 1.80 to 3.89; P < .001) than those who saw oncologists with a low preference.
Physicians' and older patients' decision styles are each associated with breast cancer chemotherapy use. It will be important to re-evaluate the impact of decision styles when there is greater empirical evidence about the benefits and risks of chemotherapy in older patients.
This study utilized data from an ongoing randomized controlled trial to compare a culturally tailored video promoting positive attitudes toward mammography among Chinese immigrant women to a linguistically appropriate generic video and print media. Intervention development was guided by the Health Belief Model. Five hundred and ninety-two immigrant Chinese Americans from the metropolitan Washington, DC, and New York City areas completed telephone interviews before and after intervention. Changes in knowledge, Eastern views of health care (fatalism and self-care), health beliefs (perceived susceptibility, severity, benefits and barriers) and screening intentions were measured. Results showed that both videos improved screening knowledge, modified Eastern views of health care, reduced perceived barriers and increased screening intentions relative to print media (all P < 0.05). The generic video increased screening intention twice as much as the cultural video, although subgroup analysis showed the increase was only significant in women aged 50–64 years. Only Eastern views of health care were negatively associated with screening intentions after adjusting for all baseline covariates. These data suggest that a theoretically guided linguistically appropriate video that targets women from various ethnic groups is as efficacious in modifying attitudes toward mammography screening as a video that is exclusively tailored for Chinese immigrant women.
In oncology, quality of care is a major issue for patients and providers. Significant variations in care, including non-receipt of adjuvant systemic therapy, non-adherence to therapy, and/or early discontinuation of therapy, occur frequently and may impact survival. Reasons for these variations are not well understood, but may play a role in the prominent disparity in breast cancer survival between blacks and whites. Since May 2006, the Breast Cancer Quality of Care Study (B-QUAL) has recruited 1158 women with non-metastatic breast cancer from several centers across the country, with completed data on 1057 participants to date. Detailed information on demographic, behavioral, biomedical, and emotional factors related to chemotherapy use was collected on each participant at baseline and at two follow-up interviews during the first 6 months. In addition, for women with ER+ tumors, further questionnaires were completed every 6 months regarding hormonal therapy use. Each participant was also asked to provide a DNA sample, and to allow medical record review. We surveyed physicians providing care to the study participants regarding attitudes toward adjuvant treatment. The mean age of participants was 58 years (SD 11.6), and 15% (n=160) were black. The majority had an annual household income <$90,000 (n=683), had college education or higher (n=802), 55.9% were married, and 57.9% were not currently employed. Seventy-six percent had hormone-receptor-positive tumors, 49.9% initiated chemotherapy and 82.7% started hormonal therapy. Blacks differed significantly from women of other races with regard to income (p <.0001), education (p=0.0005), hormone receptor status (p=0.02), and tumor grade (p=0.0002). The main endpoints of the study are non-initiation of chemotherapy or hormonal therapy, non-adherence to therapy and early discontinuation of therapy. Treatment and outcomes will be compared on the 15% of participants who are black versus other participants. The B-QUAL Study will be a rich ongoing source of information regarding reasons for differences in receipt of both adjuvant chemotherapy and hormonal therapy. This information may be useful in planning interventions to improve quality of care.
Quality of care; adjuvant therapy; adherence; breast cancer; persistence; early discontinuation; racial disparities
This chapter presents an overview of computational modeling as a tool for multilevel cancer care and intervention research. Model-based analyses have been conducted at various “beneath the skin” or biological scales as well as at various “above the skin” or socioecological levels of cancer care delivery. We review the basic elements of computational modeling and illustrate its applications in four cancer control intervention areas: tobacco use, colorectal cancer screening, cervical cancer screening, and racial disparities in access to breast cancer care. Most of these models have examined cancer processes and outcomes at only one or two levels. We suggest ways these models can be expanded to consider interactions involving three or more levels. Looking forward, a number of methodological, structural, and communication barriers must be overcome to create useful computational models of multilevel cancer interventions and population health.
Mammography screening rates among Chinese American women have been reported to be low. This study examines whether and how culture views and language ability influence mammography adherence in this mostly immigrant population. Asymptomatic Chinese American women (n = 466) aged 50 and older, recruited from the Washington, D.C. area, completed a telephone interview. Regular mammography was defined as having two mammograms at age-appropriate recommended intervals. Cultural views were assessed by 30 items, and language ability measured women’s ability in reading, writing, speaking, and listening to English. After controlling for risk perception, worry, physician recommendation, family encouragement, and access barriers, women holding a more Chinese/Eastern cultural view were significantly less likely to have had regular mammograms than those having a Western cultural view. English ability was positively associated with mammography adherence. The authors’ results imply that culturally sensitive and language-appropriate educational interventions are likely to improve mammography adherence in this population.
breast cancer screening; culture; minority health
Hospice care is promoted as a model for improving end of life care and decreasing burden on caregivers. However, hospice use is low in Latinos and little is known about how Latinos make hospice decisions and experience hospice once enrolled. We used qualitative methods to conduct in-depth interviews and focus groups with 15 Latino bereaved hospice family caregivers and 15 White Non-Latino bereaved hospice family caregivers to describe hospice experiences and evaluate whether cultural factors affected the experience. We identified differences in decision-making and caregiving experience that were influenced by culture. For example, cultural values of denial, secrecy about prognosis and a collective, family-centered system influenced hospice decisions and experience in Latinos but not Non-Latinos. This study identifies a significant dilemma; that is, how to discuss hospice with a patient and family who prefer not to discuss a terminal prognosis. Future research is needed to extend these preliminary results; such results may be useful for designing interventions to improve end of life care and caregiving in Latinos.
Hospice; Latino; End of Life; Cancer; Caregiving; Communication
We report on information channels associated with awareness about human papillomavirus (HPV) among immigrant Central and South American Latinos.
We conducted a survey of 1334 Latino ≥21 years attending safety-net clinics in 2007–2008. Logistic regression analyses evaluated associations with HPV awareness.
Forty-eight percent were aware of HPV infection and 40% were aware of the vaccine. Spanish television (38%) and providers (23%) were the primary HPV information sources. Infection awareness was associated with internet use (OR 1.47; 95% CI 1.10–1.96) and self-efficacy to find health information (OR 1.19; 95% CI 1.08–1.30). Vaccine awareness was associated with media use for health information (OR 1.27; 95% CI 1.09–1.49) and internet use (OR 1.59; 95% CI 1.18–2.13).
Although Spanish television has reached this low HPV awareness group, there may be missed opportunities for education by providers. Television and the internet may also be effective channels for future interventions.
Human Papillomavirus; Latinos; Cervical Cancer; Health Communication; Vaccine
There is a paucity of data on determinants of clinical trial participation in the growing and diverse US Latino population. We describe correlates of awareness of and willingness to participate in clinical trials among Central and South American Latinos using safety net clinics.
We conducted an interviewer administered, Spanish language cross-sectional survey (n=944). Logistic regression was used to assess effects of health information sources and psychosocial variables on awareness of clinical trials and intention to participate in clinical trials.
While only 48% knew what a clinical trial was, when explained, 65% indicated a willingness to participate in a trial. Providers were the most common source of general health information. Use of Internet for health information (OR = 2.33, 95% CI 1.63, 3.34, p = .001), trust in health information (OR = 1.33, 1.12, 1.58 for each one unit increase, p = .001) and higher education each independently increased the odds of clinical trial awareness, but obtaining information from providers did not. Contacting the Cancer Information Service (OR = 2.49, 95% CI 1.01, 6.14, p = .05) and psychosocial factors (e.g., greater worry, higher self-efficacy and trust in information) were each independently associated with intent to join a clinical trial but demographic factors were not.
Several information channels, including the Internet and telephone call centers appear to be effective in conveying information about clinical trials. While providers were cited as the most common source of health information, this source was not associated with clinical trial knowledge or intent to participate in trials suggesting a missed opportunity for communication to this immigrant Latino population.
Clinical trial awareness; clinical trial participation; Latinos; mass media
Adjuvant hormonal therapy for non-metastatic hormone receptor (HR)-positive breast cancer decreases risk of breast cancer recurrence and increases survival. However, some women do not initiate this life-saving treatment.
We used a prospective cohort design to investigate factors related to non-initiation of hormonal therapy among women with newly diagnosed, non-metastatic hormone receptor positive breast cancer recruited from three U.S. sites. Serial interviews were conducted at baseline and during treatment to examine sociodemographic factors, tumor characteristics, and treatment decision-making factors. Multivariate modeling assessed associations between variables of interest and hormonal therapy initiation.
Of 1050 breast cancer patients recruited, 725 (69%) had HR-positive breast cancer, of whom 87 (12.0%) based on self-report and 122 (16.8%) based on medical record/pharmacy fill rates did not initiate hormonal therapy. In a multivariable analysis, non-initiation of hormonal therapy, defined by medical record/pharmacy, was associated with having greater negative beliefs about efficacy of treatment (OR 1.42, 95%CI 1.18-1.70). Non-initiation was less likely in those who found the quality of patient/physician communication to be higher (OR 0.96, 95%CI 0.93-0.99), the hormonal therapy treatment decision an easy one to make (OR 0.45, 95% CI 0.23-0.90) or neither easy nor difficult (OR 0.34, 95%CI 0.20-0.58); and had more positive beliefs about hormonal therapy efficacy (OR 0.40, 95%CI 0.34-0.62).
Factors influencing non-initiation of adjuvant hormonal therapy are complex and influenced by patient beliefs regarding treatment efficacy and side effects. Educational interventions to women about the benefits of hormonal therapy may decrease negative beliefs and increase hormone therapy initiation.
Identifying risk factors for breast cancer specific to women in their forties could inform screening decisions.
To determine what factors increase risk for breast cancer in women age 40–49 years and the magnitudes of risk for each factor.
MEDLINE (January 1996 to November 2011), Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (fourth Quarter 2011), Scopus, and reference lists for published studies; and data from the Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium (BCSC).
English-language studies and systematic reviews of risk factors for breast cancer in women age 40–49 years. Additional inclusion criteria were applied for each risk factor.
Data on participants, study design, analysis, follow-up, and outcomes were abstracted. Study quality was rated using established criteria and only studies rated good or fair were included. Results were summarized using meta-analysis when sufficient studies were available, or from the best evidence based on study quality, size, and applicability when meta-analysis was not possible. BCSC data were analyzed with proportional hazards models using partly conditional Cox regression. Reference groups for comparisons were set at U.S. population means.
65 studies provided data for estimates. Extremely dense breasts on mammography or first-degree relatives with breast cancer were associated with ≥2-fold increase in breast cancer. Prior breast biopsy, second degree relatives with breast cancer, or heterogeneously dense breasts were associated with 1.5–2.0 increased risk; current oral contraceptive use, nulliparity, and age ≥30 at first birth were associated with 1.0–1.5 increased risk.
Studies varied by measures, reference groups, and adjustment for confounders; effects of multiple risk factors were not considered.
Extremely dense breasts and first degree relatives with breast cancer were each associated with ≥2-fold increased breast cancer risk in women age 40–49. Identification of these risk factors may be useful for personalized mammography screening.
Primary Funding Source
National Cancer Institute Activities to Promote Research Collaboration supplement (U01CA086076-10S1). Data collection was supported by the National Cancer Institute funded Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium (BCSC) cooperative agreement (U01CA63740, U01CA86076, U01CA86082, U01CA63736, U01CA70013, U01CA69976, U01CA63731, U01CA70040).
Internet use is widespread, but little is known about Internet use for cancer information among Latinos, especially those who rely on safety net clinics. The authors investigated access to and intended use of the Internet for cancer information among low income, immigrant Latinos predominately from Central and South America. A cross-sectional study of 1,273 Latinos 21 years and older attending safety net clinics or health fairs was conducted from June 2007 to November 2008. The authors used logistic regression models to evaluate associations of age, acculturation, psychosocial factors and other covariates with Internet access and intended use of the Internet for cancer information among those with access. Of the sample, 44% reported Internet access. Higher information self-efficacy and greater trust in the Internet were independently associated with Internet access (p= .05 and p < .001, respectively). Among those with access, 53.8% reported they intended to seek cancer help online if they needed information. Those with younger age and higher acculturation, education and self-efficacy had higher odds of intended Internet use for cancer information, considering covariates. In addition, those with high (vs. low) perceived risk of cancer (OR = 1.76; 95% CI [1.14, 2.73]; p = .01) and higher levels of trust in online health information (OR = 1.47 per one-point increase; 95% [CI 1.19, 1.82]; p = .0004) were more likely to intend to seek cancer information online. These findings that Internet access is fairly high in the immigrant Latino population and that the Internet is a trusted source of cancer information suggest that the Internet may be a channel for cancer control interventions.
Little is known about the most effective strategies to recruit male Latino smokers to cessation research studies. The purpose of this study was to identify efficient and cost effective research recruitment strategies for this priority population.
Male Latino smokers age 18 years or older were eligible. Five recruitment strategies were compared: two involved “proactive” face-to-face contact by research staff in formal or informal settings; three “reactive” strategies used mass media and flyers. Efficiency was based on the number of eligible men/number screened and the number enrolled/number screened. Incremental costs per added enrolled participant were calculated using micro-costing from a short-term, societal perspective. National data were used to estimate time costs exclusive of research and development.
Over 11 months, 1006 men were screened, 363 (36%) were eligible, and 294 (81% of those eligible) were enrolled. Proactive recruitment yielded more enrollees than reactive recruitment (256 vs. 38) but individuals were less likely to be eligible (34.0% vs. 68.9%) and to enroll in the study (27.4% vs. 62.3%). Average cost per enrollee was more than ten times lower for proactive than reactive approaches ($18 vs. $193). Proactive recruitment in informal settings was comparable in efficiency to reactive approaches and had the lowest incremental costs per additional enrollee.
This study suggests that approaching Latino smokers in informal community settings may be an efficient and cost-effective recruitment approach. These results are intended to guide tobacco researchers in recruiting male Latinos into smoking cessation trials in a cost effective and timely manner.
recruitment; Latino; smoking cessation
This study investigated the hypothesis that adherence to colon cancer screening guidelines among Chinese women was associated with Eastern cultural views and anxiety about developing colon cancer.
Cross-sectional data from a community-based longitudinal study were used to examine the hypothesis of this study. Measures of sociodemographics, medical access factors, cultural views of health care, cancer worry, and practices of colon cancer screening were administered by a computer assisted telephone interview.
Four hundred and thirty-three Chinese-American women from Metropolitan Washington, DC age 50 years and older and without a history of colon cancer completed the telephone interview.
Main Outcome Measure
Adherence to utilization of either fecal occult blood test (FOBT) within a year, sigmoidoscopy within five years, or colonoscopy within 10 years was used to define two outcome categories: current screeners and noncurrent screeners.
Controlling for covariates, this study found that: 1) women with more Eastern cultural views were less likely to be current screeners; 2) women who thought about the chance of getting colon cancer had approximately three-fold greater odds of being current screeners than women who never thought about colon cancer; and 3) women receiving physician recommendation for colon cancer screening had more than three-fold increased odds of being current screeners than those who had not received a recommendation.
In addition to the lack of physician recommendation, older Chinese women face cultural and psychological barriers to obtaining timely colon cancer screening. These barriers may be reduced through culturally sensitive intervention studies.
Cancer Worry; Chinese-American Women; Colon Cancer Screening; Colonoscopy; Cultural Views of Health Care; FOBT; Physician Recommendation; Sigmoidoscopy
In the US biennial screening mammography is recommended for average-risk women aged 50–74 because the benefits outweigh the harms. For women with increased risk starting screening at age 40 may have a similar harm-benefit ratio.
Determine the threshold relative risk (RR) at which the harm-benefit ratio of screening women aged 40–49 equals that of biennial screening for women aged 50–74.
Comparative modeling study.
Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results, Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium, medical literature.
A contemporary cohort of women eligible for routine screening.
Mammography screening starting at age 40 vs. 50 with different screening modalities (film, digital) and screening intervals (annual, biennial).
Benefits: life-years gained, breast cancer deaths averted; harms: false-positive mammography examinations; and harm-benefit ratios: false positives/life-year gained, false positives/death averted.
Results of Base-Case Analysis
Screening average-risk women aged 50–74 biennially yields the same false positives/life-year gained as biennial screening with digital mammography starting at age 40 for women with a 2-fold increased risk above average (median threshold RR 1.9; range across models 1.5–4.4). The threshold RRs are higher for annual screening with digital mammography(median 4.3; range 3.3–10) and higher when false positives/death averted is used as outcome measure instead of false positives/life-year gained. The harm-benefit ratio for film mammography is more favorable than for digital, because film has a lower false-positive rate.
Results of Sensitivity Analysis
The threshold RRs changed slightly when a more comprehensive measure of harm was used and were relatively insensitive to lower adherence assumptions.
Risk was assumed to influence onset of disease without influencing screening performance.
Women aged 40–49 with a 2-fold increased risk have similar harm-benefit ratios for biennial screening mammography as average-risk women aged 50–74. Threshold RRs required for favorable harm-benefit ratios vary by screening modality, interval, and outcome measure.
Primary Funding Source
National Cancer Institute.
Despite trials of mammography and widespread use, optimal screening policy is controversial.
Design and Objective
Six models use common data elements to evaluate US screening strategies.
The models use national data on age-specific incidence, competing mortality, mammography characteristics and treatment effects.
Target Population and Time Horizon
A contemporary population cohort followed over their lifetimes.
We use a societal perspective for analysis.
We evaluate 20 screening strategies with varying initiation and cessation ages applied annually or biennially.
Number of mammograms, breast cancer mortality reduction or life years gained [LYG] (vs. no screening), false positives, unnecessary biopsies and over-diagnosis.
Results of Base Case
The 6 models produce consistent rankings of screening strategies. Screening biennially maintains an average of 81% (range across strategies and models 67–99%) of the benefit of annual screening with almost half the number of false positives. Screening biennially from ages 50 to 69 achieves a median 16.5% (range 15%–23%) breast cancer mortality reduction vs. no screening. Initiating biennial screening at age 40 (vs. 50) reduces mortality by an additional 3% (range 1%–6%), consumes more resources and yields more false positives. Biennial screening after age 69 yields some additional mortality reduction in all models but over-diagnosis increases most substantially at older ages.
Sensitivity Analysis Results
Varying test sensitivity or treatment patterns do not change conclusions.
Results do not include morbidity from false positives, knowledge of earlier diagnosis or under-going unnecessary treatment.
Biennial screening achieves most of the benefit of annual screening with less harm. Decisions about the best strategy depend on program and individual objectives and the weight placed on benefits, harms and resource considerations.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Latinas. This study examined social, cultural, and health care system factors that impact quality of life and survivorship experiences of Latina immigrant breast cancer survivors.
We interviewed Latina breast cancer survivors (n=19) and, based on the interview findings, conducted two focus groups (n=9). Research staff translated transcripts from Spanish into English. Two trained raters reviewed the content and identified themes. Thematic content analysis was used to categorize and organize data.
Participants were largely mono-lingual in Spanish, predominantly from Central and South America and most (68%) had lived in the U.S. for 10 or more years. All women were diagnosed and treated in the U.S. and were an average of 3.1 years from diagnosis. Women’s survivorship experiences appeared to be shaped by cultural beliefs and experiences as immigrants such as secrecy/shame about a breast cancer diagnosis, feelings of isolation, importance of family support (familism), challenges with developing social relationships in the U.S. (less personalismo), and, for some, their partner’s difficulty with showing emotional support (machismo). Navigating the U.S. medical system and language barriers were additional challenges in participants’ health care interactions.
Latina breast cancer survivors adhere to certain cultural values and face unique issues as immigrants, potentially influencing overall quality of life and doctor-patient communication. Efforts to improve Latina immigrant breast cancer survivors’ quality of life could include increased assessment of psychosocial functioning and referral to social support services, culturally-sensitive navigation programs and consistent use of appropriately trained interpreters.
breast cancer; survivorship; Latinos; quality of life; qualitative
Obesity affects multiple points along the breast cancer control continuum from prevention to screening and treatment, often in opposing directions. Obesity is also more prevalent in Blacks than Whites at most ages so it might contribute to observed racial disparities in mortality. We use two established simulation models from the Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network (CISNET) to evaluate the impact of obesity on race-specific breast cancer outcomes. The models use common national data to inform parameters for the multiple US birth cohorts of Black and White women, including age- and race-specific incidence, competing mortality, mammography characteristics, and treatment effectiveness. Parameters are modified by obesity (BMI of ≥30 kg/m2) in conjunction with its age-, race-, cohort- and time-period-specific prevalence. We measure age-standardized breast cancer incidence and mortality and cases and deaths attributable to obesity. Obesity is more prevalent among Blacks than Whites until age 74; after age 74 it is more prevalent in Whites. The models estimate that the fraction of the US breast cancer cases attributable to obesity is 3.9–4.5 % (range across models) for Whites and 2.5–3.6 % for Blacks. Given the protective effects of obesity on risk among women <50 years, elimination of obesity in this age group could increase cases for both the races, but decrease cases for women ≥50 years. Overall, obesity accounts for 4.4–9.2 % and 3.1–8.4 % of the total number of breast cancer deaths in Whites and Blacks, respectively, across models. However, variations in obesity prevalence have no net effect on race disparities in breast cancer mortality because of the opposing effects of age on risk and patterns of age- and race-specific prevalence. Despite its modest impact on breast cancer control and race disparities, obesity remains one of the few known modifiable risks for cancer and other diseases, underlining its relevance as a public health target.
Simulation modeling; Breast cancer; Disparities; Obesity
Optimal US screening strategies remain controversial. We use six simulation models to evaluate screening outcomes under varying strategies.
The models incorporate common data on incidence, mammography characteristics, and treatment effects. We evaluate varying initiation and cessation ages applied annually or biennially and calculate mammograms, mortality reduction (vs. no screening), false-positives, unnecessary biopsies and over-diagnosis.
The lifetime risk of breast cancer death starting at age 40 is 3% and is reduced by screening. Screening biennially maintains 81% (range 67% to 99%) of annual screening benefits with fewer false-positives. Biennial screening from 50–74 reduces the probability of breast cancer death from 3% to 2.3%. Screening annually from 40 to 84 only lowers mortality an additional one-half of one percent to 1.8% but requires substantially more mammograms and yields more false-positives and over-diagnosed cases.
Decisions about screening strategy depend on preferences for benefits vs. potential harms and resource considerations.
Mammography; Screening; Modeling
Physical activity can improve quality of life (QOL) in breast cancer survivors but little is known about associations of physical activity and QOL during active cancer therapy. We examine associations between activity levels and QOL in a large cohort of breast cancer patients. Women with invasive, non-metastatic breast cancer (n = 2,279) were enrolled between 2006 and 2009 from a managed care organization; assessment were done during active therapy. A physical activity frequency questionnaire was used to calculate the average weekly metabolic equivalent task (MET) hours spent in moderate and vigorous activity during active treatment. QOL was measured by the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Breast Cancer. Linear regression models tested cross-sectional associations of QOL and functional well-being with physical activity and covariates [socio-demographics, comorbidity, body mass index (BMI), clinical variables, social support, and assessment timing]. Physical activity had a significant positive unadjusted association with all QOL sub-scales (except emotional well-being) (all P values < 0.01). Overall QOL was 4.6 points higher for women in the highest quartile of moderate and vigorous activity versus women in the lowest quartile (P < 0.001). In regression models, higher activity was associated with better overall QOL and functional well-being, controlling for covariates (P < 0.05). Increasing BMI was also independently but inversely associated with overall QOL (P < 0.001) but did not explain the relationship of activity and QOL. White women reported the higher levels of activity than minority women and activity was associated with QOL for Whites but not for minority women. Greater physical activity is associated with small but clinically meaningful increases in QOL during active breast cancer care therapy for Whites but this effect is not seen for minority women. If confirmed in longitudinal analyses, these differences may have implications for disparities research.
Breast cancer; Physical activity; Quality of life
Tobacco cessation among Latinos is a public health priority in the United States, particularly given the relatively high growth of this population segment. Although a substantial percentage of American Latinos use the Internet, they have not engaged in Web-based cessation programs as readily as other racial/ethnic subgroups. A lack of culturally specific advertising efforts may partly explain this disparity.
Phase I of this study focused on the development of four Spanish-language online banner advertisements to promote a free Spanish-language smoking cessation website (es.BecomeAnEX.org). Phase II examined the relative effectiveness of the four banner ads in reaching and recruiting Latino smokers to the cessation website.
In Phase I, 200 Spanish-speaking Latino smokers completed an online survey to indicate their preference for Spanish-language banner ads that incorporated either the cultural value of family (familismo) or fatalism (fatalismo). Ads included variations on message framing (gain vs loss) and depth of cultural targeting (surface vs deep). In Phase II, a Latin square design evaluated the effectiveness of the four preferred ads from Phase I. Ads were systematically rotated across four popular Latino websites (MySpace Latino, MSN Latino, MiGente, and Yahoo! en Español) over four months from August to November 2009. Tracking software recorded ad clicks and registrants on the cessation website. Negative binomial regression and general linear modeling examined the main and interacting effects of message framing and depth of cultural targeting for four outcomes: number of clicks, click-through rate, number of registrants, and cost per registrant.
In Phase I, smokers preferred the four ads featuring familismo. In Phase II, 24,829,007 impressions were placed, yielding 24,822 clicks, an overall click-through rate of 0.10%, and 500 registrants (2.77% conversion rate). Advertising costs totaled US $104,669.49, resulting in an overall cost per click of US $4.22 and cost per registrant of US $209.34. Website placement predicted all four outcomes (all P values < .01). Yahoo! en Español yielded the highest click-through rate (0.167%) and number of registrants (n = 267). The message framing and cultural targeting interaction was not significant. Contrary to hypotheses, loss-framed ads yielded a higher click-through rate than gain-framed ads (point estimate = 1.08, 95% CI 1.03 1.14, P = 0.004), and surface-targeted ads outperformed deep-targeted ads for clicks (point estimate = 1.20, 95% CI 1.13 1.28, P < .001), click-through rate (point estimate = 1.22, 95% CI 1.16 1.29, P < .001), and number of registrants (point estimate = 2.73, 95% CI 2.14 3.48, P < .001).
Online advertising can be an effective and cost-efficient strategy to reach and engage Spanish-speaking Latino smokers in an evidence-based Internet cessation program. Cultural targeting and smoking-relevant images may be important factors for banner ad design. Online advertising holds potential for Web-based cessation program implementation and research.
Internet; smoking cessation; recruitment; Hispanic/Latino; advertising
US Black women have higher breast cancer mortality rates than White women despite lower incidence. The aim of this study is to investigate how much of the mortality disparity can be attributed to racial differences in natural history, uptake of mammography screening and use of adjuvant therapy.
Two simulation models use common national race- and age-specific data for incidence, screening and treatment dissemination, stage distributions, survival and competing mortality from 1975 to 2010. Treatment effectiveness and mammography sensitivity are assumed to be the same for both races. We sequentially substituted Black parameters into the White model to identify parameters that drive the higher mortality for Black women in the current time period.
Both models accurately reproduced observed breast cancer incidence, stage and tumor size distributions and breast cancer mortality for White women. The higher mortality for Black women could be attributed to differences in natural history parameters (26–44%), use of adjuvant therapy (11–19%) and uptake of mammography screening (7–8%), leaving 38–46% unexplained.
Black women appear to have benefited less from cancer control advances than White women, with a greater race-related gap in the use of adjuvant therapy than screening. However, a greater portion of the disparity in mortality appears to be due to differences in natural history and undetermined factors.
Breast cancer mortality may be reduced substantially by ensuring that Black women receive equal adjuvant treatment and screening as White women. More research on racial variation in breast cancer biology and treatment utilization is needed.
breast neoplasms; mammography; adjuvant therapy; mortality; healthcare disparities; continental population groups; computer simulation