Arizona Cancer Center researcher awarded grant to assist women at risk of cervical cancer

Jesse Nodora, DrPH
Jesse Nodora, DrPH

Arizona Cancer Center researcher Jesse Nodora, DrPH, has received an American Cancer Society Mentored Research Scholar Grant to help low-income women at risk of cervical cancer to get follow up care.

The five-year, $687,000 award will be used to establish a patient navigation program in a community health center to facilitate follow up care for women who have had an abnormal cervix cancer screening test. This is the first Mentored Research Scholar Grant awarded to an AZCC researcher.

“Improvements in timely diagnosis following abnormal screening tests have enormous potential to decrease the burden of cancer and in turn decrease or eliminate cancer health disparities related to screening and early detection,” Dr. Nodora says.

“In the United States, more than 60 percent of cervical cancer cases occur among underserved, under-screened populations of women. Unfortunately, timely follow-up after an abnormal cervix cancer screening test among low-income women from racial/ethnic minority groups is low.”

The grant, with a July 1 start date, will support a patient navigator to assist women with setting up appointments and referrals for diagnostic visits, provide reminders about the appointments, coordinate transportation, provide interpretation and support during the visits, offer health literacy education and assist with scheduling follow-up and related appointments.

The American Cancer Society’s Mentored Research Scholar Grants provide support for mentored research and training to full-time junior faculty. The program’s goal is for these beginning investigators to become independent researchers as either clinician scientists or cancer control and prevention researchers.

Dr. Nodora, an assistant professor of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Arizona’s College of Medicine, became a member of the Arizona Cancer Center in 2005 in the Cancer Prevention and Control Program. His practical and research interests include health promotion, with an emphasis on cancer prevention, particularly among the poor and underserved.