A social-ecological review of cancer disparities in Kentucky

Sharon D. Rodriguez, Nathan L. Vanderford, Bin Huang, Robin C. Vanderpool

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Cancer continuously ranks among the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States. The burden of cancer is particularly elevated in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and its 54-county Appalachian region, where cancer is the leading cause of death. Kentucky's high rates of cancer have been attributed to a wide range of socioeconomic, behavioral, environmental, and policy influences, resulting in numerous disparities. The present review specifically evaluates the burden of lung, colorectal, cervical, and head and neck cancers in Kentucky, along with resultant cancer control research and community outreach efforts conducted by the state's only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center using an adapted version of McLeroy's Social-Ecological Model. Here, we categorize disparities and identify relevant intervention approaches based on their level of influence (ie, individual, community, and policy).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-219
Number of pages7
JournalSouthern Medical Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
From the Colleges of Public Health and Medicine, University of Kentucky, Lexington. Correspondence to Dr. Nathan L. Vanderford, Ben F. Roach Building, 800 Rose Street, CC140, Lexington, KY 40536. E-mail: nathan.vanderford@uky.edu. To purchase a single copy of this article, visit sma.org/smj-home. To purchase larger reprint quantities, please contact Reprintsolutions@wolterskluwer.com. This manuscript was supported by services from the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center Behavioral and Community-Based Research and Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Shared Resource Facilities (P30 CA177558). N.L.V. has received compensation from the National Institutes of Health (grant no. P30 CA177558). R.C.V. has received compensation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas, and John Wiley & Sons. The remaining authors did not report any financial relationships or conflicts of interest. Accepted November 7, 2017. Copyright © 2018 by The Southern Medical Association 0038-4348/0–2000/111-213 DOI: 10.14423/SMJ.0000000000000794

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright 2018 The Southern Medical Association.


  • Appalachia
  • Cancer
  • Disparities
  • Kentucky
  • Social-ecological model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (all)


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