Master of Public Health alumna Marsha Trego ’18 wanted to pursue further research after presenting her thesis, and has now published the continued study in the Journal of Cancer Survivorship.
Following her graduation, Trego decided to continue researching food insecurity in cancer survivors. Her study found that, while cancer survivors generally are less food insecure, if analyzed by demographics, types of cancer, and background, food insecurity exists among those who are low income and diagnosed at a younger age.
“I started this project with the hypothesis that hunger and food insecurity in cancer patients and survivors would be higher, but the research shows that patients with other chronic diseases experience it more,” said Trego. “Now we have research that shows community resources and planning are important for those demographics post-care.”
Trego’s research was inspired by her mother, a cancer survivor. She said her thesis grew from an interest in food access, but she also wanted to find something that could make a difference with those suffering from chronic diseases. Her interest in food insecurity led her to the University of Pennsylvania, where she’s a project manager at the Psychology of Eating And Consumer Health lab.
“Access to food for chronic disease is important,” Trego said. “A lot of chronic diseases can be impacted or managed with access to the right foods.”