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VOICES of Black Women study launches

ACS launches historic population study to drive deeper understanding of cancer disparities.

This week, the American Cancer Society officially launched the VOICES of Black Women study, designed to help better understand the multi-level drivers of incidence, mortality, and resilience of cancer and other health conditions among Black women in the United States, so we can better understand how to collectively address them.

This historic study will be the largest cohort study of cancer risk and outcomes among Black women in the United States. The study launched with a pilot in fall 2023 and officially kicked off nationwide on May 6, 2024, with activation scheduled in four waves throughout the summer and into early fall.

With this study, ACS has a goal to enroll 100,000 Black women across 20 states and D.C., where, according the US Census, more than 90 percent of Black women in the US reside. Recruitment is open to Black women ages 25 to 55 who live in these geographic areas and have not been diagnosed with cancer (except basal or squamous skin cancer). This recruitment model is designed to help enroll women of diverse backgrounds.

This study is designed to be transformative in helping ACS learn more about why Black women have some of the highest death rates and shortest survival of any racial or ethnic group in the US for most cancers.

Feedback from the pilot recruitment efforts this fall show women are responding positively to the opportunity to enroll, said Dr. Alpa Patel, study principal investigator and senior vice president, Population Science. ACS team members have been working hard throughout the winter and spring to prepare for the launch since the pilot, with trainings offered for both all team members and specific, cross-functional key groups across the organization. 

ACS team members are also prepping VOICES ambassadors – a core group of trusted volunteer messengers who will work with VOICES market teams to promote the study in their personal and professional circles. About 40 ambassadors are being trained to date. 

What can you do to help? 

  • On Tuesday, May 7 and later, share VOICES with your networks on social media and elsewhere. Watch ACS brand social channels for content you can share. Please do not edit available materials.
  • No matter your role at ACS, we all have a role to play in VOICES. Think outside the box for ways you can help. What personal or professional connections do you have that may help further this work?
  • If you live in one of the 20 VOICES priority markets or in Washington, D.C., we particularly need your support.
    1. Check out the VOICES My Society Source page for resources and more information on the study.
    2. Watch for Region and state-specific updates throughout the campaign with actionable information specific to your area.
  • Stay tuned to My Society Source for the latest VOICES updates throughout the remainder of the year.

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