Funded in partnership with Miami Dolphins Foundation
Women who live in disadvantaged neighborhoods experience shorter breast cancer survival rates. One cause may be stress from social adversity. Social adversity includes exposure to violent crime, poverty, housing instability, and more. Studies have shown that this stress can lead to gene responses that increase inflammation and depress immune response. This can result in higher rates of metastasis (the spread of cancer cells to another part of the body) and shorter breast cancer survival. Previous research from our team has found that women in disadvantaged neighborhoods show these gene responses associated with worse outcomes. This study builds on this past research with a population that is both larger and more diverse. It will validate our previous findings and help us begin to identify how neighborhood disadvantage, stress, and more aggressive genes are related. It will set the stage for future interventions that can address this negative impact and reduce disparities in breast cancer survival rates.