The risk of dying from cancer has steadily declined in the United States over the past few decades, but Black individuals assigned female at birth still have some of the lowest survival rates. Although Black females are less likely to be diagnosed with cancer than White females, they are they more likely to die from it within five years, according to the National Cancer Institute. The disparity is particularly stark for breast cancer, which kills Black females at a 40% higher rate than White females, even though their rate of diagnosis is 4% lower.

NBC News

ONS Perspective

The national launch of the American Cancer Society’s VOICES of Black Women study, the largest behavior- and environment-focused population study of cancer risk and outcomes in Black women in the United States, is a major step in addressing the persistent cancer disparities that Black individuals face. Stemming from a complex set of factors, including biology, environment, and social determinants of health, the disparities contribute to inequitable cancer survival and outcomes.

To reduce those disparities and build the available data and evidence for communities that have been historically underrepresented in cancer research, ONS and its advocates are urging Congress to sustain funding for health disparity programs and support diverse participation in clinical trials. As the study results emerge, the healthcare community will have new insights and understanding to develop specific interventions and treatments, ultimately improving access to care for Black females with cancer.

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