The Boston Puerto Rican Cancer Survivorship Study

Abstract

Purpose: We examine physical/ functional needs of minority and poor cancer (CA) survivors (CS) – Puerto Ricans (PR), African Americans (AA), and whites. Poor and/or AAs CS bear disproportionate incidence, mortality and, among Hispanics, PRs have the second highest CA mortality rates of some CAs. Whites have high incidence rates yet have lower mortality rates for certain CAs than AAs and PRs. æææMethods & Data: Our sample consists of those who have had cancer and are members of the Boston Puerto Rican Health Study (BPRHS). We use an observational, cross-sectional design and our outcome variables are: self-reported strength, range of motion, skin integrity/sensitivity, lymphedema, pain, fatigue, disability, quality of life, healthcare barriers, and utilization of physical therapy. We will enroll 77 subjects and conduct face-to-face interviews in Spanish in participantsÍ homes. We will compare prevalence of our variables across tumor types with existing data on AA and white CS. We analyze our data with descriptive statistics, odds ratios, generalized linear and logistic regression modeling (1&2-tailed; p<.05). æResults: We expect to find that 1) those with low income will report high number and severity of our outcome variables; 2) barriers to care are greatest for those who are poor and/or uninsured or underinsured; 3) physical therapy services are under-utilized; 4) differences by race and ethnicity will be explained by income level. æSignificance: This study provides preliminary data for development of evidence-based interventions to reduce incidence, severity and impact of physical & functional late effects from CA treatment across tumor types.