Chronic Disease

Breast Cancer Disparities

Through the Breast Cancer Disparities Learning Community, ASTHO works with the state health departments strengthen their ability to mobilize data resources more effectively to address sociodemographic disparities in breast cancer mortality, with a focus on the elevated mortality rates of black women in the United States. Examples from demonstration states, Arizona; Tennessee; and West Virginia, are using high quality data more efficiently to monitor public health impacts for breast cancer prevention and control activities within their states. The focus of the learning community is driven by the following data sources: screening, time from screening to initiation of treatment and quality treatment. Through this learning community, state-specific data helped to identify geographic spatial analysis needs and establish decision makers’ priorities to reduce the health disparities gaps in breast cancer screening, follow up after abnormal screening result and treatment.

Additional information on ASTHO's Breast Cancer Disparities Learning Community can be found in the following materials from the national learning community webinar convened on August 8, 2017:


The following CDC reports provide a background on the current breast cancer mortality statistics in the United States, and demonstrate the need to identify and address disparities in breast cancer mortality at the state and local level:

ASTHO consultants have been highly involved in this project since its onset, providing demonstration states with technical assistance and expert advice to improve epidemiologic capacity, increase expertise in GIS mapping, and translate data findings into sustainable and evidence-based action:

Breast Cancer Disparities Online Toolkit

Public Health Agencies are laboratories for change with the expertise to improve health equity for all. Through ASTHO’s Breast Cancer Disparities Learning Community, six public health agencies and their community and clinical statewide partners implemented comprehensive, cross-sector systems change interventions to reduce the burden of breast cancer mortality in their communities. This Breast Cancer Disparities Online Toolkit provides a coordinated guide of events to operationalize best practice interventions by mobilizing data resources more effectively to address disparities in breast cancer mortality. The Toolkit is structured around a set of phases that public health agencies and community and clinical stakeholders can apply to increase their capacity for effective data collection and analysis, coordinated stakeholder engagement, and sustainable implementation and evaluation.

If you have any questions or suggestions pertaining to the online toolkit, please contact

Year 1 Findings

ASTHO developed a poster describing key findings, lessons learned, and next steps for each demonstration state after initial state data collection activities. ASTHO also developed one-pagers that explore key findings, lessons learned, and next steps for each state in greater detail:

Blog Posts

As part of the Breast Cancer Learning Community, ASTHO promotes high quality treatment in breast cancer care through the development of blog posts. Defining and quantifying high quality breast cancer care, and ensuring that all populations have equitable access to quality treatment, are ongoing challenges for states, and we will feature stories sharing the strategies states have implemented to address those challenges. Other blog posts are coming soon: