Embrace: Socioeconomic Status and Breast Cancer

September 26, 2023

Disclaimer statement: The information and resources contained within this document are for educational purposes only. Please make sure to discuss any resources with the Here for the Girls Team. This information should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. This information should not be used in lieu of care from a licensed physician or mental health practitioner. Although the content of the resources has been reviewed by the Here for the Girls Team, you should use caution whenever accessing or referring to information from outside sources, including the Internet.

As an organization dedicated to improving the lives of young women, H4TG will be providing insight into the impact socioeconomic status and access to healthcare services has on breast cancer diagnoses. Socioeconomic status, as defined by the American Psychological Association, is “the position of an individual or group on the socioeconomic scale, which is determined by a combination of social and economic factors such as income, amount, and kind of education,” (n.d.). As it relates to healthcare, socioeconomic status has proven to be a social determinant in access to quality healthcare services. The National Cancer Institute (NCI, 2022) reported that individuals that reside within a lower socioeconomic status and have lower rates of health literacy are more at-risk of not receiving cancer screenings, such as mammograms. Additionally, individuals who have limited access to healthcare services are at an increased risk of having a later stage diagnosis (NCI, 2022). For example, the Susan G. Komen Foundation highlighted that “women who have health insurance are more likely than women who don’t have health insurance to get mammograms.” (2023) There is still minimal research on the impact socioeconomic status has on breast cancer diagnoses. However, there are additional risk factors, such as environment, age, race/ethnicity, and family history, that can place individuals at an increased risk of developing breast cancer. These risk factors are categorized as social determinants of health. The office of Disease Prevention and Health Prevention defines social determinants of health as “the conditions in the environments where people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age that affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life-outcomes.” Dr. Sonya Reid spoke with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (2023) about social determinants of health and how it relates to breast cancer. Dr. Sonya Reid highlighted that the issue is multifaceted as multiple risk factors can impact just one individual. Further, she explained that breast cancer diagnoses and care is “based on a lot of societal discrimination that we see when it comes to access to care as well as comorbidities that start from prevention, screening, and all the continuum of care that we see.” (BCRF, 2023) You can listen to the full podcast here. BreastCancer reported on a study that examined the impact of social determinants with a pool of 60,137 women diagnosed with breast cancer (DePolo, 2023). The study concluded that social determinants contributed to disparities in healthcare services as it relates to breast cancer.

H4TG has compiled a list of external resources that discusses further risk factors and steps to take in addressing risk factors:

If you are in need support or have questions, please reach out to support@hereforthegirls.org or socialwork@hereforthegirls.org. If you would like to learn more about social determinants, you can RSVP on our website for the Social Drivers of Health educational event on September 6th at 5:30 pm.


American Psychological Association. (n.d.). Socioeconomic status. Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/topics/socioeconomic-status

Breast Cancer Research Foundation. (2023, March 6). Exploring social determinants of health in breast cancer care with dr. sonya reid. Retrieved from https://www.bcrf.org/bcrf-2023-podcast-sonya-reid-breast-cancer/

DePolo, J. (2023, February 27). Breast cancer characteristics and socioeconomic factors equally linked to higher death rates among black women. BreastCancer.org. Retrieved from https://www.breastcancer.org/research-news/outcome-disparities-causes

Healthy People 2030, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Retrieved from https://health.gov/healthypeople/priority-areas/social-determinants-health

The National Cancer Institute. (2022, March 28). Cancer Disparities. Retrieved from https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/understanding/disparities

Susan G. Komen Foundation. (2023, March 03). Socioeconomic status. Retrieved from https://www.komen.org/breast-cancer/risk-factor/socioeconomic-status/#:~:text=High%20SES%20has%20been%20linked,levels%20%5B359%2D365%5D.



Recent Post

© 2024 Here for the Girls, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) public charity
EIN 26-0606190
1309 Jamestown Rd. Suite 204
Williamsburg, VA 23185
Contact us at info@hereforthegirls.org or at 757-645-2649

‌⁠If you are in a life-threatening situation, please do not use this website. Please use the list below for resources or call 911 to request crisis intervention, or other appropriate personnel, for immediate support. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – Call 800-273-TALK (8255) Crisis Text Line – Text NAMI to 741-741
cross linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram