Rutgers School of Public Health faculty members Drs. Jesse Plascak, Adana Llanos and Nan Stroup have been awarded the 2017 Cancer Prevention and Control Award by the Cancer Institute of New Jersey ($43,095). Led by Dr. Plascak, the award will fund a team of researchers in their latest study, Spatial Uncertainty of Neighborhood Factors and Associations with Racial Disparities of Breast Cancer Prognostic Indicators.
Women who identify as African American or reside in neighborhoods of high socioeconomic depravation are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer at later stages and have more aggressive forms of the disease. Dr. Plascak notes, moreover, that “greater specificity in measuring social environmental characteristics as well as their associations with breast cancer outcomes could motivate development of public health and clinical care interventions aimed at reducing breast cancer disparities.” Therefore, the study team will rely on emerging technologies and spatial analytic techniques to observe and measure socio-environmental characteristics – including physical disorder and walkability – in New Jersey neighborhoods. The study will be the first to explore associations between these socio-environmental factors and breast cancer outcomes, which lay the groundwork for a larger study containing more comprehensive individual and environmental data.