This study of breast cancer patients touches upon two increasingly important areas of research: survivorship and disparities. The goal of this study is to identify and describe ethnic differences in the impact of breast cancer on employment status, financial stability, and quality of life. The protocol includes patients from five different ethnic groups, including speakers of four different languages, at MSKCC and at several community hospitals in New York City. Participants complete a baseline survey during the period of active treatment for breast cancer and a follow-up survey four months after treatment completion. They are then followed to determine employment status on an annual basis until three years after their initial breast cancer diagnosis. The analysis will describe predictors of ethnic disparities in employment and financial outcomes as well as quality of life after treatment for breast cancer.
Our project is a great opportunity for a student interested in ethnic disparities and quality of life associated with cancer treatment.
Background: There are 2.5 million breast cancer survivors living in the United States. Studies of employment status after breast cancer to date have identified associations with age, race, income, cancer stage at diagnosis, general health status and relationship with employer. These studies, however, have primarily been limited to Caucasian, middle-to-high income populations.
Study Objective:To describe the impact of nonmetastatic breast cancer on the employment status, financial situation, and quality of life of women from different minority groups and to assess how this effect may vary between ethnic groups.
Patients of working age (18-65 years old) being treated for stage I-III breast cancer are being recruited at Memorial Sloan-Kettering and five community hospitals and cancer centers to participate in this quality of life. In addition to the age and diagnosis requirements, eligible patients are able to consent in English, Spanish, Korean, or Mandarin and were working within three months of diagnosis.
The consenting professionals ask the patient to nominate five peers to serve as a matched control for this longitudinal study. Baseline data for the patients and peers is collected while the patient is undergoing treatment and the follow-up data is collected three to four months after treatment is completed. Participants will complete the survey online or over the phone using the telephone interview service at the Survey Research Institute.
Preferred Project Dates
Students are expected to be in attendance all eight weeks, start and end dates inclusive.