Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Buchannan, Robert

Committee Member

Hunt, Barry

Committee Member

Shaffer, Steve

Committee Member

Patrick, Barbara

Committee Member

French, Eddie

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Public Policy and Administration

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Political Science and Public Administration


This dissertation research focused on breast cancer and social determinants that have been shown to influence the outcomes of this devastating disease. Although heart disease is the leading cause of death for women, more women feel that they will die from breast cancer. Breast cancer is the most common diagnosed cancer in women exacting an emotional and economic hardship for many women. There are no known causes of breast cancer, but there are certain genetic and social factors that pre-dispose women to this disease. Also, diagnosis at later stages of disease has been shown to have adverse outcomes for many. This research examined the effects that social determinants had on breast cancer stage of diagnosis. The social determinants researched to examine their influence on breast cancer outcomes were race, geographical location, health insurance, and income. Also, this research examined the influence of Public Health Law, 101-354, enacted to decrease health disparity from breast and cervical cancer for minorities and medically underserved women had on breast cancer diagnosis for women enrolled in the Mississippi Breast and Cervical Cancer Program. Complimentary to PHL 101-354, Public Health Law 106-354, the Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Act, was enacted giving states the option of providing health insurance through Medicaid for eligible women with a diagnosis of cancer of the breast or cervix, including precancerous conditions, for treatment services. The results of this study revealed that race and health insurance were the two major factors that negatively impacted stages of breast cancer diagnoses. Although hypothesized, geographical location and income did not significantly affect late stage breast cancer rates.