American Cancer Society is a non profitable organization that deals with people suffering from cancer. Its main duty is to ensure there is a reduction of the number of patients suffering from cancer and eradication of the disease as one of the major health problem faced by many Americans today.
The society was founded in 1913 through a partnership of a business man and a group of 15 physicians who previously worked at the American Society Control of Cancer in New York (this is where the organization got its name). After its formation, the society circulated its first articles about cancer that was published in the then famous women’s magazine, ‘Ladies Home Journal,’ at a cost budget of $10,000.
Since its formation, the managers and organizers of the organization embarked on efforts to ensure the general public was well aware of the disease. Through use of various of strategies, the society was fully committed to make sure that every American had information about cancer.
The chair of the society, Mrs. Robert G. Mead, was in charge of coordinating successful advisement efforts through public meetings that were held in Chicago, Boston, New Orleans and other cities.
In 1914, several other pamphlets, posters, news articles about cancer were published regularly and circulated via mail to over 14,000 people from the society titled “Facts About Cancer”. Doctors reported a very positive feedback that resulted from the society efforts. According to many doctors, many patients were coming to check up very early for diagnostic assessments.
At the time of WWI, “the Society partnered with the ‘National Safety Council’ to distribute pamphlets with information about cancer to more than six million people countrywide. By 1920s, the Society was able to organize the “National Cancer Week” and with the help of “League of Red Cross Societies” they were able publish the bulletins in foreign language to other countries” (Journal staff Correspondence 4).
The organization was growing at a very fast rate increasing its budget to $60, 000 by 1922. There were approximately 700 new cancer committees formed in United States only. From the organizations record more than half of the Americans were aware about cancer its effects and how to manage the disease (Anomymous 154).
A second pamphlet was published titled “What Everyone Should Know About Cancer,” and it became one of the predominantly circulated medical brochures of the time. After some time, the members of the public begun to show some interest in the organization and they slowly begun to contribute generously in support of the organization.
In 1926, “during a fundraising that was set by the organization in a bid to raise $1 million for the cancer campaign the famous industrial philanthropist, John Davison Rockefeller, contributed a total sum of US$125,000.
Surprisingly, it only took a year for the organization to achieve their US$1 million goal. It later published the women’s influential booklet titled “What Every Woman Should Know About Cancer,” and several other pamphlets” (Schafer 18).
In the 1940s, the organization involved other national health organizations from other countries in realizing and ensuring that the people were aware of the relationship between cancer and tobacco smoking. The organization funded a project that was set up in order to make study conclusions about lung cancer at a medical school in Missouri ‘Washington School of Medicine’.
The survey reported that 94% of individuals suffering from lung cancer were engaged in smoking cigarette (Nash 54). At that time, this was the most successful program that was used to reduce the number of patients suffering from lung cancer.
To support this record, a comprehensive research was done with approximately 200,000 interviews by administering questionnaires and conducting clinical research activities. After the ACS got the final research report on lung cancer, it was found that smokers who smoked 2 packets of cigarettes a day had a 25% chance of suffering from lung cancer as compared to a non-smoker.
The outcome of the results made headlines all across the tabloids in the United States and across other continents like Europe and Asia. An article written by a staff correspondent of the Milwaukee Journal confirmed the figures stating that indeed there was a direct association between cigarette smoking and coronary artery diseases as reported by the American Cancer Society (Ross 69).
The tobacco companies also begun to publicly advertise the harmful effects of consuming the product a move that was considered a positive move towards making people aware of cancer however it did not last because the two organizations begun to fight to this date. ACS greatly committed itself in research programs that involved the study of several cancers and also educating the public about them.
In the 1990s, the organization embarked on rigorous research programs not only to study about the cancer disease but also the genetics, vaccines, drugs, inhibitors among other fields related to the disease. One of the most important developmental goals of the organization at this time was the advocacy of legislative proposals on tobacco settlement that was hotly debated over by the U.S. Congress (Walter S. Ross1987).
The organization invested almost all its funds and contributions in innovative research programs in the beginning of the 21st century, it had invested about $3 billion to help in the research investigations in almost all types of cancers. American Cancer society awarded a total $130 million per year to all peer evaluated projects by 2007.
Those projects that benefited from ACS support include use of Pap smear and mammograms in the efforts to detect breast cancer the use of aminopterin to achieve a reduction of cancer and also programs that involved the study of genes which are associated with cancer cells. In terms of education its main efforts is to enhance people’s awareness from the disease (“A Potential Tool against Cancer,”).
One of the ways the Society is encouraging the awareness is by convincing people to adopt a healthy living style it stresses on every individual to participate in the screening examinations to help in the detecting of the cancer disease if any early enough so as to be able to mange it.
The societies efforts have been positively embraced since almost all school in the United States have incorporated the same the health information studies in their curriculum. It also supports workshops that have been organized for cancer awareness and provide platforms for medical practitioners to increase their knowledge about the disease (Holleb and American Cancer Society 47).
In 2007, the association devoted much of its efforts in ensuring that cancer was no longer listed as a major killer disease in America. It channeled a total amount of $15 million on advertising purposes in both the print and electronic media pointing out that most people lacked cancer services due to lack of insurance programs.
In regard to this, the ASC and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) partnered with other health organizations to promote better cancer health care services. The organization is now involved in various activities that involve programs which help eliminate cancer in the society.
It boasts of a highly professional workforce who includes non profit administrators and other medical personnel like the nurses, doctor’s technicians and more than two million people acting as volunteers at community level.
It is also involved in a number of educative programs which benefits both the medical personnel and the members of the public. American Cancer Society is one of the most vibrant institutions when it comes to cancer elimination programs and awareness.
Anomymous. “A Potential Tool against Cancer.” Business Week. (May 18th 1981): 154. Print.
Holleb and American Cancer Society. The American Cancer Society cancer book: prevention, detection, diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, cures. Doubleday: The University of Michigan, 1986. Print.
Journal staff Correspondence. “Link Cigarette to Heart Ills.” Milwaukee Journal. (June 4th 1957): 4-27. Print.
Nash, Madeleine. “Stopping Cancer,” Time. (April 25, 1994): 54. Print.
Ross, Walter. The Official History of the American Cancer Society. New York: Arbor House, 1987. Print.
Schafer Elizabeth. “American Cancer Society (ACS).” Salem Health: Cancer encyclopedia. (2007): 12-25. Print.