Eva C. Hawes


July 2013

Document Type


Degree Name



Dept. of Public Health and Preventive Medicine


Oregon Health & Science University


Breast cancer is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in women in the United States. It is the second most common form of cancer in women (non-melanoma skin cancer is the most common) and is the second leading cause of cancer mortality with only lung cancer causing more cancer related deaths in women. It is estimated that about 40,000 women will die from breast cancer in the United States in 2012.1, 2 Socioeconomic status (SES) is important in determining the health outcomes from disease, particularly from chronic disease. It also plays an important role in breast cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. Breast cancer incidence overall is known to vary among SES categories and overall incidence has been shown to be greater among geographic areas with higher SES than areas with lower SES.16, 17 Disparities in disease progression by individual level SES markers are well documented. According to Sprague et al, women who had no education beyond high school were 1.39 times more likely to die from a breast cancer diagnosis than women with a college education.10 This disparity was also mimicked by poverty level, another marker of SES.




School of Medicine



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