The Women’s Circle of Health Follow-Up Study: a population-based longitudinal study of Black breast cancer survivors in New Jersey

Elisa V. Bandera, Kitaw Demissie, Bo Qin, Adana A.M. Llanos, Yong Lin, Baichen Xu, Karen Pawlish, Jesse J. Plascak, Jennifer Tsui, Angela R. Omilian, William McCann, Song Yao, Christine B. Ambrosone, Chi Chen Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Purpose: The Women’s Circle of Health Follow-Up Study is an ongoing longitudinal study of African American/Black breast cancer survivors in New Jersey, specifically designed to evaluate the impact of obesity and related comorbidities on breast cancer survival and health-related quality-of-life in this understudied population. Here, we describe our recruitment and data collection methods and compare characteristics of the overall cohort and the subcohort with follow-up data. Methods: Newly diagnosed breast cancer cases have been recruited into the study since 2006. Pre-diagnosis data on relevant factors and a saliva sample are collected during an in-person interview within 12 months from diagnosis. In 2013, we began active follow up by recontacting participants annually, including two home visits at approximately 2 and 3 years post-diagnosis, during which blood samples are collected. Mortality outcomes (all-cause and breast cancer-specific mortality) are ascertained through linkage with New Jersey State Cancer Registry files. We expect to assemble a cohort of over 2000 Black breast cancer survivors with at least 800 of them having detailed post-diagnosis data. Results: Distribution of sociodemographic characteristics, body mass index, comorbidities, clinicopathologic characteristics, and treatment modalities were very similar between those in the full cohort and the subset with follow-up data and blood samples. Obesity (> 50%), hypertension (> 58%), and diabetes (22%) were common in this population. Conclusions and implications for cancer survivors: This ongoing longitudinal study represents a unique resource to better understand breast cancer outcomes, patient-reported symptoms, and health-related quality of life among Black breast cancer survivors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-346
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Cancer Survivorship
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Oncology(nursing)


  • Black women
  • Breast cancer
  • Cancer survivors
  • Comorbidities
  • Obesity
  • Quality of life


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