Yet another reason to support the American Cancer Society:
Earlier this year, the American Cancer Society proudly reported a decline in cancer deaths. Sadly, scientific evidence suggests that this progress won't continue unless all Americans gain access to quality health care. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that 47 million Americans have no health insurance and millions more don't have enough to cover costs. As a result, too many people can't afford medical care or screening tests that can prevent cancer or find it early – and too many die needlessly of cancers that are detected too late. Others end up losing everything they own because they cannot afford the cost of their cancer care.
And so we cannot help but ask, is choosing between your life and financial ruin really a choice?
With this new initiative, the American Cancer Society will do what we have historically done best – educate the public and move our country to action. When the Society confirmed the link between tobacco use and lung cancer more than 40 years ago, we worked hard to educate the public about the dangers of tobacco. Years later, we led volunteers across the country to advocate for policy changes that led to increased tobacco taxes and thousands of smoke-free communities. This combination of public awareness and grassroots advocacy has led to the lowest smoking rates in decades and, best of all, decreased death rates from lung cancer. We have made similar strides in cervical, breast, and colon cancers.
Now we plan to educate Americans about the need for greater access to quality health care through an aggressive public awareness campaign featuring real people telling their own very real stories. Advertisements airing nationwide will encourage people to visit www.cancer.org/access to learn more. For those who want to be part of the nationwide grassroots movement to make this issue a priority for state and federal elected officials, our sister advocacy organization, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action NetworkSM (ACS CAN), will provide opportunities for volunteers to become an active part of this effort.
Of course, while we pursue this new effort, we will continue to do all of the things that you expect from your American Cancer Society. We will continue to be the nation's top private funder of cancer research, to educate Americans about reducing their cancer risk, and to be available 24 hours a day to those who need us for information and support.