Research shows that African American women are more likely to die from breast cancer but are less likely to be diagnosed with the disease than other women. Dr. Tisha Felder feels an obligation to not only understand why, but to do something about it. “These data represent my mother, my aunts—my family, ” she says.
As a first step toward identifying solutions, Dr. Felder, a Research Assistant Professor in the College of Nursing, recently completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the USC College of Pharmacy and CPCP. Her research, supported by a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Health Outcomes from the PhRMA Foundation (2011-2013), explored if there were racial differences in the receipt of adjuvant hormonal therapy among Medicaid enrollees diagnosed with breast cancer (2004-2007). Findings showed there were no racial differences in the receipt of adjuvant hormonal therapy after adjusting for other social and clinical factors, however, nearly one-third of clinically-eligible breast cancer survivors did not receive adjuvant hormonal therapy during the study period.
Dr. Felder is currently building from these findings and has submitted a proposal to the National Cancer Institute where she will identify intervention targets at the level of the patient, and potentially additional levels of contextual influence (e.g., provider, organizations), that may address non-adherence to adjuvant hormonal therapy among breast cancer survivors from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds.