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The American Cancer Society To Conduct 30-Year Study On Why Black Women Die From Cancer At Higher Rates Than Other Racial Groups

The American Cancer Society has initiated a significant research project named VOICES of Black Women to address the alarming disparities in cancer survival rates among Black women in the U.S. Despite lower diagnosis rates compared to white women, Black women face significantly higher mortality rates from cancers such as breast, cervical, and endometrial cancer. To understand the underlying causes of these inequities, the study will track over 100,000 Black women aged 25 to 55 for 30 years, examining how their health, lifestyles, and experiences of discrimination impact cancer risks.

"With few exceptions, Black women are more likely to be diagnosed with late-stage cancer, aggressive tumor types and have higher cancer-specific mortality rates than other women. It’s within this context that the American Cancer Society is launching VOICES of Black Women," Dr. Lauren McCullough, a co-principal investigator and the visiting scientific director at the American Cancer Society, said at a briefing.

Historical mistrust towards medical research within the Black community, rooted in exploitative practices such as the unconsented surgeries by James Marion Sims and the Tuskegee experiment, presents challenges in conducting such a large-scale study. To address these concerns, the study emphasizes respectful and ethical research practices, allowing participants control over their medical data and anonymity in publications.

"We recognize that there has been historic mistrust in the Black community for several reasons," said a co-principal investigator of the VOICES study, Dr. Alpa Patel, senior vice president of population science for the American Cancer Society.

Eligible participants are from 20 states and Washington, D.C., covering over 90% of the target demographic in the U.S. They will complete biannual surveys on various health and personal factors. This groundbreaking study hopes to transform understanding and improve cancer prevention and treatment for Black women.

Link: NBCNews


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