Clear Search

BCRF, Dolphins Challenge Cancer, and AutoNation Team Up to Tackle Breast Cancer Disparities

By BCRF | October 9, 2023

A new partnership will fund research exploring the relationship between social determinants of health and breast cancer mortality

More than one kickoff took place at the Miami Dolphins game against the Denver Broncos on Sunday, September 24, 2023. Before play began, BCRF partners Dolphins Challenge Cancer, the signature philanthropic initiative of the Miami Dolphins, and AutoNation announced a $1 million, 4-year commitment that, this year, will support BCRF investigator Dr. Neha Goel and her research into disparities in breast cancer outcomes.

Representatives from BCRF, Dolphins Challenge Cancer, and AutoNation joined Dr. Goel on the field at Hard Rock Stadium as the partnership launch video played throughout the stadium to more than 65,000 fans in attendance. The video, which features Dr. Goel and Jaelan Phillips, the Miami Dolphins linebacker who also serves on the Board of Directors for Dolphins Challenge Cancer, detailed the disproportionate disparities in breast cancer incidence and outcomes experienced by Black and Hispanic and Latin American women, and outlined the potential impact to close these gaps of the study that will be supported by this partnership. 

Dr. Goel said she was humbled and honored to receive funding from BCRF, Dolphins Challenge Cancer, and AutoNation.

“These organizations are impactful players in the cancer research space and are really leading by example in our shared quest to inform novel cancer control interventions geared to improve the lives of all our patients by ending cancer disparities,” said Dr. Goel, member of Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, associate professor of surgery in the DeWitt Daughtry Family Department of Surgery at the Miller School of Medicine, and John K. and Judy H. Schulte Endowed Chair in Cancer Research.  

The funding supports Dr. Goel’s study of the links between two social determinants of health—geographic location and environmental stress—and breast cancer mortality. Previous research has shown that women living in low-income neighborhoods have a higher breast cancer mortality rate compared to those in affluent neighborhoods. 

“Dr. Goel’s research will help to define how one’s neighborhood…impacts their breast cancer, not just in terms of access to care, but also in terms of its influence over the tumor’s characteristics and behavior, and, ultimately, their survival outcomes.”

—Dr. Dorraya El-Ashry, BCRF Chief Scientific Officer

Social determinants of health are just one of several factors intrinsically linked to racial disparities in breast cancer outcomes. While groundbreaking research has led to a 43 percent decline in breast cancer deaths over the past three decades, the scientific advancements that contributed to the decrease have yet to reach some communities. Minorities encounter significant disparities in breast cancer screening, care, treatment, and outcomes compared to their white peers. For example, despite slightly lower rates of breast cancer, Black women are 41 percent more likely to die of the disease than white women. Hispanic and Latino also have lower rates of the disease but are more likely to be diagnosed at later stages with more aggressive forms of breast cancer. 

Dr. Goel’s study is just one of several investigations into racial disparities in breast cancer currently funded by BCRF. Click here to learn more about these projects and why these unacceptable disparities persist.