Epidemiology

Breast Cancer, Race and Place

Welcome to the Breast Cancer, Race and Place (BCRP) project! The goal of this research is to develop new measures of structural racism in housing, examine the relationship between structural racism in housing and breast cancer outcomes, and explore the ways in which racially and ethnically diverse breast cancer survivors navigate survivorship in a racially segregated metropolitan area (Milwaukee, Wisconsin). On this page, you can learn more about this research and our team as well as download and explore new measures of contemporary mortgage lending bias developed by our study team for metropolitan areas across the country.

About the Project

Research has shown that neighborhoods, including the built, social, and natural environments they contain, are influential determinants of health and health inequity. Numerous neighborhood factors have been found to be associated with cancer disparities, including neighborhood socioeconomic status (SES) and walkability. Among these, residential racial segregation has been recognized as a fundamental neighborhood determinant. Racial segregation results in fundamentally different exposures and experiences based on race, impacting health disparities. Further, evidence indicates that there are wide gaps in home ownership and home equity derived wealth by race and ethnicity in the United States.

An important driver of residential segregation, and the economic health of a neighborhood or an individual, is mortgage lending. Mortgage lending bias – the systematic denial of mortgage financing to specific neighborhoods or applicants – can thus have important implications for housing access, wealth accumulation, economic development, and segregation. By promoting neighborhood economic investment differentials, mortgage lending bias is a key upstream driver of housing access as well as other neighborhood health determinants including access to resources, SES, and built environment features such as parks and tree canopy. By promoting differentials in applicant access to mortgage funding based on the race or ethnicity of the applicant, mortgage lending bias has implications for individual wealth, housing tenure, and socioeconomic disparities among racial and ethnic groups.

We developed three measures of mortgage lending bias using a combination of the disease mapping method adaptive spatial filtering (ASF) and logistic regression models predicting application denial:

  1. Location bias or redlining: the odds ratio of denial of a mortgage application for a property in a local area, compared to properties across the metropolitan statistical area (MSA)
  2. Racial bias: the odds ratio of denial of a mortgage application for a Black/African American applicant, compared to a non-Hispanic white applicant, for a property in the local area.
  3. Ethnic bias: the odds ratio of denial of a mortgage application for a Hispanic applicant, compared to a non-Hispanic white applicant, for a property in the local area.

Our Team

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Kirsten Beyer, PhD, MPH, MS

Associate Professor, Division of Epidemiology; Director, PhD Program in Public & Community Health; Co-Director, Global Health Pathway; Co-Director, GEO Shared Resource; Adjunct Associate Professor, Geography, UW-Milwaukee

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Chima Anyanwu, MA

PhD Student

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Sara Beltran Ponce, MD

Medical Resident, PGY-3

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Madeline Berendt, BS, CCRC

Clinical Research Coordinator

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Jean Bikomeye

PhD Student

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Bethany Canales, MPH

Statistician

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Carolina Cuevas, BS

Research Program Associate

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Angelica Delgado Rendón, PhD

Instructor; 2021-2023 Academic Fellow in Primary Care, Epidemiology

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Jasmin Griggs

MD Candidate, Class of 2023

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Melissa Harris, MPH

PhD Student

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Courtney Jankowski, MPH

Research Coordinator II

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Naya Jones, PhD

Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of California Santa Cruz

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Jamila Kwarteng, MS, PhD

Assistant Professor of Community Health

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Emily McGinley, MS, MPH

Biostatistician II

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Ann B. Nattinger, MD, MPH

Associate Provost for Research; Senior Associate Dean for Research, School of Medicine; Professor of Medicine, Lady Riders Professor of Breast Cancer Research

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Nicole Rademacher, MD

General Surgery Intern, University of Alabama at Birmingham

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Shana Snarrenberg

PhD Student

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Melanie Sona, BS

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Tina W. F. Yen, MD, MS, FACS, FSSO

Professor, Division of Surgical Oncology; Co-Director, GEO Shared Resource; Interim Program Leader, MCW Cancer Center Breast Disease-Oriented Team

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Staci A. Young, PhD

Associate Professor and Director, Center for Healthy Communities and Research

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Yuhong Zhou, PhD, MS, ME

Research Scientist

Contact Us

Email us at bcrp@mcw.edu

Acknowledgments

Thank you to the following for their financial support of the project:
National Cancer Institute
MCW Cancer Center