Ethnicity, socioeconomic status, income inequality, and colorectal cancer outcomes: evidence from the 4C2 collaboration

Cathy J. Bradley, Amy Anderson-Mellies, Evelinn A. Borrayo, Jennifer Anne Doherty, Omar A. Escontrías, David O. Garcia, Shiraz I. Mishra, Andrew L. Sussman, Cynthia A. Thomson, David W. Wetter, Linda S. Cook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: National Cancer Institute (NCI)-Designated Cancer Centers are required to assess and address the needs of their catchments. In rural regions, catchment areas are vast, populations small, and infrastructure for data capture limited, making analyses of cancer patterns challenging. Methods: The four NCI-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the southern Rocky Mountain region formed the Four Corners Collaboration (4C2) to address these challenges. Colorectal cancer (CRC) was identified as a disease site where disparities exist. The 4C2 leaders examined how geographic and sociodemographic characteristics were correlated to stage at diagnosis and survival in the region and compared those relationships to a sample from the surveillance, epidemiology, and end results (SEER) program. Results: In 4C2, Hispanics were more likely to live in socioeconomically disadvantaged areas relative to their counterparts in the SEER program. These residency patterns were positively correlated with later stage diagnosis and higher mortality. Living in an area with high-income inequality was positively associated with mortality for Non-Hispanic whites in 4C2. In SEER, Hispanics had a slightly higher likelihood of distant stage disease, and disadvantaged socioeconomic status was associated with poor survival. Conclusion: CRC interventions in 4C2 will target socioeconomically disadvantaged areas, especially those with higher income inequality, to improve outcomes among Hispanics and Non-Hispanic whites. The collaboration demonstrates how bringing NCI-Designated Cancer Centers together to identify and address common population catchment issues provides opportunity for pooled analyses of small, but important populations, and thus, capitalize on synergies among researchers to reduce cancer disparities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)533-546
Number of pages14
JournalCancer Causes and Control
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2022


  • Cancer stage
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Disparities
  • Income inequality
  • Mortality
  • Rural

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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