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Duke Medicine: Study focuses on ovarian cancer risks, survival in African American women

Posted November 7, 2011

Although African American women have lower incidence rates for ovarian cancer, they have worse survival rates from this disease. And, although survival rates for Caucasian women have improved modestly over the past four decades, there has been no improvement for African American women.

Why is there such a major difference between African American and Caucasian women when it comes to developing and surviving ovarian cancer? No one yet knows the answer, but a team of Duke Cancer Institute (DCI) researchers is working to solve this medical mystery.

For the past year, epidemiologists and oncologists at Duke Medicine and across the country have been planning a study, developing patient brochures and questionnaires, and recruiting participants for the study. They also received the input of an African American cancer survivor to help tailor effective communications to this community.

The new study is called AACES -- the African American Cancer Epidemiology Study -- and is the first study of ovarian cancer exclusively in African American women. The goal is to enroll 1,000 women with a recent diagnosis of ovarian cancer, as well as 1,000 women who have never had the disease for comparison, in order to better understand the causes of ovarian cancer in this population.

Recruitment for the study has begun and will continue for the next four years.

Read the full post at to learn more about the study and ovarian cancer. Duke Medicine, Go Ask Mom's sponsor, offers health information and tips here every Tuesday.


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