A Population Health Assessment in a Community Cancer Center Catchment Area: Triple-Negative Breast Cancer, Alcohol Use, and Obesity in New Castle County, Delaware

Siegel SD, Brooks MM, Sims-Mourtada J, Schug ZT, Leonard DJ, Petrelli N, Curriero FC

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021 Nov;():

PMID: 34737210


BACKGROUND: The NCI requires designated cancer centers to conduct catchment area assessments to guide cancer control and prevention efforts designed to reduce the local cancer burden. We extended and adapted this approach to a community cancer center catchment area with elevated rates of triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC).

METHODS: Cancer registry data for 462 TNBC and 2,987 “Not-TNBC” cases diagnosed between 2012 and 2020 at the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute (HFGCCRI), located in New Castle County, Delaware, were geocoded to detect areas of elevated risk (hot spots) and decreased risk (cold spots). Next, electronic health record (EHR) data on obesity and alcohol use disorder (AUD) and catchment area measures of fast-food and alcohol retailers were used to assess for spatial relationships between TNBC hot spots and potentially modifiable risk factors.

RESULTS: Two hot and two cold spots were identified for TNBC within the catchment area. The hot spots accounted for 11% of the catchment area but nearly a third of all TNBC cases. Higher rates of unhealthy alcohol use and obesity were observed within the hot spots.

CONCLUSIONS: The use of spatial methods to analyze cancer registry and other secondary data sources can inform cancer control and prevention efforts within community cancer center catchment areas, where limited resources can preclude the collection of new primary data.

IMPACT: Targeting community outreach and engagement activities to TNBC hot spots offers the potential to reduce the population-level burden of cancer efficiently and equitably.

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