The hotspots for breast cancer deaths in Black women from 2000 to 2015 were 119 counties mostly in the Southern region of the country, including clusters in the Mississippi Valley River region, coastal Carolinas and the three Georgia counties of Putnam, Jasper and Morgan clustered in the middle of the state.
The 83 hotspots for Hispanic women were primarily in the Southwest, including the southern-most tip of Texas, a big block that covered much of the western portion of New Mexico, the southern portion of Arizona, as well as a swath of Florida, primarily along the Atlantic coastline.
The high death rates in these counties correlated with lower education levels and household income, higher unemployment and uninsured residents, and a higher proportion of individuals who indicated that cost was a barrier to medical care.
Dr. Justin Xavier Moore (above), a cancer epidemiologist in the Department of Population Health Sciences at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, helped pinpoint these hotspots and is now working to see if areas in the country with low rates of breast cancer screening match up with the high-mortality areas.
Identifying the low-mammography areas, combined with personal insight from some of the women there about barriers to screening, will enable better targeting of women most at risk of dying from this common, largely treatable cancer, Moore says.
See “Identifying hotspots of low mammography screening in Black, Hispanic women” by Toni Baker on the Augusta University new site (October 27, 2020)