Vanderpool R.,Swanberg J., & Chambers M. (2013). A Narrative Review of the Confluence of Breast Cancer and Low-Wage Employment and Its Impact on Receipt of Guideline-Recommended Treatment. Global Advances in Health and Medicine, 2, 75-85. (Note: Not open access)
Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer among women in the US. Despite improvements in screening and treatment, breast cancer treatment and survivorship disparities exist among various groups of women. One variable that is unexplored as a possible contributor to breast cancer treatment disparities is employment. Characteristics of low-wage work—limited paid time off, minimal health benefits, schedule inflexibility, and economic insecurity—may become even more significant in the event of a breast cancer diagnosis. There has been limited research into how conditions of low-wage jobs may influence working poor survivors’ receipt of breast cancer treatment. The purpose of this narrative review was to critically examine the current literature to further our understanding of how employment context may impact treatment decisions and adherence—and therefore receipt of guideline-recommended care—among newly diagnosed, working poor breast cancer survivors. We failed to identify any published literature that explicitly addressed low-wage employment and receipt of guideline-recommended breast cancer treatment. Future policy, practice, and research efforts should focus on the employment context of working poor breast cancer survivors as a contributor to cancer disparities. Engagement of women, employers, oncology providers, healthcare systems, and researchers is warranted to improve cancer outcomes among working poor women.