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American Cancer Society’s New Study, ‘VOICES of Black Women’ Slated To Be Largest In U.S.

Enrollment for VOICES of Black Women is open for participants to actively provide insight to cancer researchers for at least 30 years.

The American Cancer Society has embarked on a new study called VOICES of Black Women, which will cover 20 states in the U.S.

VOICES of Black Women is the largest study of its kind ever conducted in the country with a commitment to better understanding cancer and other health conditions impacting Black women. A May 7 press release stated the organization aims to enroll over 100,000 Black women aged 25 to 55 in this study, which will span a minimum of 30 years.

“The VOICES team recognizes that there is a history of Black women’s bodies being exploited to advance medical knowledge, yet Black women have received the fewest benefits compared to their male and White counterparts,” the VOICES of Black Women official webpage states. To address this, the organization has assembled a culturally sensitive and diverse research team, actively seeking input from those who understand and respect the unique concerns of the Black community.

Study participants will actively engage with the research team, providing insights into their behaviors, surroundings, and personal experiences by completing surveys at least twice a year. The study’s findings will inform strategies to improve the health of Black women for generations to come.

As previously mentioned by BLACK ENTERPRISE, researchers at Ohio State University’s Comprehensive Cancer Center found Black women with cancer face increased barriers to genetic testing, stating Black women aren’t getting screened at the same rate and showing up with more advanced cancers but not having the same access to treatment.

“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 visiting scientific director, stated during a briefing, according to NBC News.

Dr. Alpa Patel, a co-principal investigator and senior vice president of population science, acknowledged the historic mistrust within the Black community, saying, “It’s been really front and center for us to ensure that we’ve partnered with Black women to understand how to build this study in a way that is respectful.”

Enrollment for VOICES of Black Women opened on May 6 in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.