Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)
Interdisciplinary Studies (Graduate)
Date of Defense
First Committee Member
Rinku Roy Chowdhury - Committee Chair
Second Committee Member
Daniel A. Griffith - Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Lora E. Fleming - Committee Member
Fourth Committee Member
Elizabeth Aranda - Committee Member
This dissertation explores the spatial patterns and place-based characteristics of colorectal cancer (CRC) late stage incidence and CRC-specific mortality in Miami-Dade County. Because CRC is the second leading cause of death among all cancers and is almost 90 percent preventable through medical screenings, investigations of CRC disparities across groups and communities are extremely relevant in the fight against cancer. This paper analyzes the geographic distribution of CRC cases in Miami-Dade County between two periods, 1988-1992 and 1998-2002 to: a) identify significant "hot spots" or clusters of disease; b) investigate associations of CRC patterns with neighborhood level characteristics such as socio-economic status, race/ethnicity, and poverty; and c) explore the policy implications of the spatial trends identified for the disease, with particular reference to the Welfare Reform Act of 1996. This dissertation analyzes data from the Florida Cancer Data Registry and tract level U.S. Census data, to identify the spatial distribution of CRC and study its relation to place-based variables using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and spatial statistical modeling. Identifying spatial clusters of disease can assist in targeting public health interventions and improving social service delivery, particularly for uninsured populations. Identifying communities facing greater obstacles to screenings and quality medical care through the use of spatial analysis is an effort to mitigate these barriers while simultaneously providing empirically based evidence linking neighborhood-level social and economic conditions to health disparities.
Medical Sociology; Spatial Epidemiology; Colorectal Cancer; Medical Geography; Miami
Hernandez, Monique Nicole, "A Spatial Analysis of Colorectal Cancer in Miami-Dade County" (2008). Open Access Dissertations. 99.