Description & History
Research The aim of the Society's research program is to determine the causes of cancer and to support efforts to prevent and cure the disease.
The research program focuses primarily on peer-reviewed projects initiated by beginning investigators working in leading medical and scientific institutions across the country.
The Society offers programs to help educate the public about cancer risks, early detection methods, and prevention. Educational efforts include: Tobacco control Relationship between diet and physical activity and cancer, sun safety, comprehensive school health education.
In addition to cancer prevention, the Society focuses on a variety of early detection programs and encourages regular medical check-ups and recommended cancer screenings.
Because cancer takes a toll on the person diagnosed—as well as family and friends—the Society offers support and service programs to try to lessen the impact. These programs cover a wide range of needs—from connecting patients with other survivors to providing a place to stay when treatment facilities are far from home.
Cancer is a political issue. Many of the most important cancer decisions are made not just in the doctor's office, but in your state legislature, in Congress, and the White House. Government officials make decisions everyday about health issues that affect our lives. The Society's advocacy efforts work in concert with its research, education, and service initiatives to strengthen our nation's laws, regulations, and programs in a way that will:
* Increase federal funding for cancer research
* Help more people benefit from advances in prevention, early detection, and treatment
* Make it easier for patients to navigate the health care system
* Improve the quality of life of cancer patients, survivors, and their families
Society advocacy initiatives rely on the combined efforts of a community-based, grassroots network of cancer survivors and caregivers, society volunteers and staff, health care professionals, public health organizations, and other collaborative partners.
The American Cancer Society was founded in 1913 as the American Society for the Control of Cancer (ASCC) by 15 prominent physicians and business leaders in New York City. It was one of the most remarkable moments in the history of public health.
In those early days, cancer was rarely mentioned in public. The disease was steeped in a climate of fear and denial. Cancer claimed 75,000 lives a year in the United States alone. The Society's founders knew they had to raise public awareness if progress was to be made. The number of doctors, nurses, patients and family members who had to be reached was overwhelming. Despite the enormity of their task, the founders and their colleagues set about writing articles for popular magazines and professional journals, publishing Campaign Notes (a monthly bulletin of cancer information), and recruiting physicians throughout the country to help educate the public.