American Cancer Society studying risk factors for Black women, survival rates

Crystal Cranmore Image
Tuesday, May 7, 2024
American Cancer Society examining cancer risk factors for Black women
Crystal Cranmore has more on the new ACS study examining cancer disparities for Black women.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- A new study by the American Cancer Society aims to understand cancer risks and elevate the survival rates for Black women.

"It was shocking to hear that I found the lump each time," said Carol Johnson-Cromer, a cancer survivor.

Johnson-Cromer is a three-time breast cancer survivor.

She was just 38 years old when she was first diagnosed.

"I had put some money in my chest area. Preparation for us to purchase some things for our trip. And, I felt a lump. And, I immediately called my gynecologist," Johnson-Cromer said.

Cromer's assertiveness to her health helped her endure a tumultuous journey that disproportionately affected Black women.

Now, the 61-year-old is hoping to improve the lives of Black women for generations to come as an ambassador with the American Cancer Society.

The nonprofit launched a groundbreaking initiative to study the lives of 100,000 cancer-free Black women from across the country.

"We know that Black women are actually slightly less likely than white women, about 8% less likely, to hear the words, 'You have cancer.' But if they hear the words, 'You have cancer,' they're actually about 12% more likely to die of that cancer diagnosis and that is fundamentally unacceptable," said Dr. Alpa V. Patel, American Cancer Society.

Dr. Patel says the organization has never done a race and gender specific study.

The research will be collected over a period of decades.

"We're asking a lot of questions about their diet. Their physical activity, their use of tobacco and or consumption of alcohol and other traditional what we would consider traditional behavioral or lifestyle factors," she said.

The goal of the study is to understand the drivers of cancer risk and survival for Black women, by elevating their voices.

"This is an opportunity for us to you know, for this lack of attention and or inequities, to be addressed, and an opportunity for us to then perhaps really get in, really change bring about change in our communities," Johnson-Cromer said.

The American Cancer Society is looking for women ages 25 to 55 to participate.

You can visit to enroll.

Dr. Sutton talked about the new study on Eyewitness News at 4

ABC News Medical Correspondent Dr. Darien Sutton discusses the new study examining cancer disparities.


* Get Eyewitness News Delivered

* Follow us on YouTube

* More local news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts

Submit a tip or story idea to Eyewitness News

Have a breaking news tip or an idea for a story we should cover? Send it to Eyewitness News using the form below. If attaching a video or photo, terms of use apply.