Breast cancer persists as being the leading form of cancer among women in the United States (U.S.) with 1 in 8
women receiving the diagnosis in their lifetime. Body composition, notably visceral adipose tissue (VAT), is both
a salient risk factor and prognostic indicator for breast cancer in post-menopausal women. Less is known about
the role of subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) in breast cancer in this population. Accumulation of VAT coupled
with menopause drives a pathophysiology of inflammatory, metabolic, and immunological dysfunction, measured
by blood biomarkers, which are associated with cancer genesis. The role of social stress in the development of
VAT is well established in the cardiometabolic literature. Yet, there is a paucity of literature on the intersection of
social stress, body composition, and breast cancer. The specific aims of this Diversity Supplement are designed
to address this critical gap in the breast cancer and body composition literature. These aims will: 1. Examine the
relationship of social stress, adiposity types (VAT vs. SAT), and breast cancer incidence and mortality; 2.
Examine the relationship of blood biomarkers and social stress to explore cancer promoting mechanisms of
stress in post-menopausal women; 3. Provide training and professional development opportunities to Dr.
Valencia, an underrepresented minority early-stage investigator. Through participation in the proposed research
and training activities, Dr. Valencia will gain fundamental expertise in body composition, cancer promoting
pathophysiological pathways, and social stress to help her achieve her ultimate career goals to continue to
perform impactful cancer research.