American Cancer Society embarks on largest study of cancer risk in Black women

With the goal of enrolling more than 100,000 participants, the American Cancer Society is planning the largest U.S.-based, behavioral- and environmental-focused study on cancer risk and outcomes in Black women. 

Compared to white women, Black women are 40% more likely to die from breast cancer and are 2.3 times more likely to die from stomach cancer, according to CDC data compiled by HHS. To discover the root of health disparities and improve equitable care, the American Cancer Society launched a study called VOICES of Black Women on May 7. 

Candidates for the trial will be from 20 states and Washington, D.C, where more than 90% of Black women in the U.S. live, according to the organization. No medication, clinical testing, treatment of lifestyle changes are part of the study. 

Researchers will track behavioral, environmental and lived experience data through short surveys conducted periodically, the society said. The study participants will provide that information for 30 years. To be eligible, the Black women must be between 25 and 55 years old, and not be diagnosed with cancer. 

The project's leaders called the initiative overdue. 

"By centering Black women's voices and experiences, we can dig deeper in uncovering the unique challenges and barriers contributing to cancer disparities and develop tailored interventions to mitigate them," Alpa Patel, PhD, principal investigator, said in a news release. 

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