The American Cancer Society (ACS) is the nationwide, community-based, voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives and diminishing suffering from cancer through research, education, advocacy and service.
History & Mission - Founded in 1913, the American Cancer Society is the nation’s largest community-based voluntary health organization and has played a role in virtually every groundbreaking cancer breakthrough. With volunteers as its backbone, the Society tackles all cancers on all fronts to eliminate cancer as a major health problem.
Recent Accomplishments - The American Cancer Society’s Patient Navigation Services continue to expand with new centers at health care facilities throughout Illinois. In just six years we have created a statewide support network serving an estimated 35,000 cancer patients and families annually. Thanks to the vision and generosity of our donors, all services are free. Our cancer-fighting efforts have helped save nearly 350 lives per day, nationwide, since the 1990s.
Research – ACS is the largest non-governmental source of cancer research funding in the United States. Through the years, 47 American Cancer Society funded scientists have won the Nobel Prize. Today, 30 active American Cancer Society research grants worth $17.3 million are at work in Illinois at the Ann and Robert Lurie Children’s Hospital, University of Chicago, Northwestern University, Loyola University, and Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science.
Education - We reach out to millions in Illinois each year with good news that most cancer can be prevented by making healthy choices every day. We partner with community groups, schools, faith organizations, corporations and others to bring practical, cancer-fighting information to people nationwide.
Advocacy - American Cancer Society advocates and grassroots volunteers give cancer a voice by promoting effective cancer policies and legislation at the federal, state and local levels. Current advocacy efforts include increasing federal funding for cancer research, the regulation of tobacco products by the FDA, and the protection of the historic Smoke-Free Illinois law.
Patient Services - Every day, more than 100 Illinois residents reach out for help by calling our 24/7 national cancer information center. Nationwide, we answer 1.1 million calls each year. From the moment of diagnosis throughout the entire cancer journey, the Society provides a circle of care that offers patients comprehensive information, day-to-day help and emotional support so they can make informed decisions for the highest quality of life possible. In addition to the Society’s many free programs and services, we maintain a database of community resources to assist patients.
Since 1991, cancer death rates have declined in the U.S. by 23%, but we can’t stop there. Over 1.6 million new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed in the United States in 2015, and more than 589,000 Americans will lose their battle - that’s over 1,600 people a day. The American Cancer Society is committed to changing these devastating odds.
We know we cannot win the cancer fight alone. It will take all of us, working together, to bring this disease under control. Creating a world with less cancer requires strong partnerships.
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