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CHOICE PhD Student Awarded ASCO Conquer Cancer Merit Award

Sara Khor
Sara Khor

Sara Khor, 5th year PhD student in The CHOICE Institute, was awarded the the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Conquer Cancer Merit Award for her team’s study that examined the association between pre-diagnosis financial strain and later stage cancer diagnosis.

The team’s research explores the relationship between pre-diagnosis financial strain (FS), measured through credit reports, and later stage cancer diagnosis. Analyzing data from cancer patients in Western Washington (2014-2018), the study reveals that FS is associated with later stage cancer diagnosis, which could lead to adverse cancer outcomes. Among breast cancer patients, this association can be largely explained by nonreceipt of mammography. Their findings suggest that even with insurance coverage, individual’s financial stress may create an additional barrier to timely medical attention for suspicious cancer symptoms or routine screening, further exacerbating cancer disparities. This research highlights the need to develop strategies to improve access to care for these individuals.

In collaboration with her collaborators at the Hutchinson Institute for Cancer Outcomes Research, Veena Shankaran, Catherine Fedorenko, Kaiyue Yu, Zach Rivers, and Shannon Kestner, this study was also selected as a featured abstract in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Read the full publication here:

Khor S, Yu K, Fedorenko CR, Rivers Z, Kestner S, Shankaran V. Association between pre-diagnosis financial strain and later stage cancer representation. JCO Oncology Practice 2023 19:11_suppl, 127. Published online November 2023.