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2019 Annual Report available electronically

The American Cancer Society’s 2019 Annual Report is available electronically on cancer.org. This redesigned, simplified version was created based on feedback from users throughout the organization.

The American Cancer Society 2019 Annual Report outlines our path forward as we work to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. In the report, we showcase our accomplishments, and we detail revenue and spending for the calendar year 2019. The full 2019 Financial Statements are also available on cancer.org. 

Through this report, the American Cancer Society recognizes the countless contributions of communities, our volunteers, and partners who help us lead the fight against cancer. As a reminder, this is only a snapshot of all the amazing work that our volunteers and staff are accomplishing throughout the organization. 

Please note all data in this report is from prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the latest data available, please review the American Cancer Society Vital Statistics resource. 

  • Guidance available for return to screening amid pandemic

    ​Disruptions in screening could exacerbate disparities.

    Prevention and early detection are critical to our mission. Unfortunately, too many people remain unscreened, and the situation caused by the pandemic is resulting in a decline in cancer screening rates. 

    In response to these challenges, the American Cancer Society is leveraging our extensive expertise to provide guidance on how public health agencies, health care providers, and screening advocates can promote and deliver cancer screening appropriately, safely, and equitably during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    We’ve created a comprehensive toolkit that includes screening messages and guidance for breast, cervical, colorectal, and lung cancers, as well as HPV vaccination.


  • We are indebted to our volunteers and supporters - thank you!

    This year has tested our American Cancer Society like no other. We all learned to innovate and found new ways to serve patients, connect with communities, and raise money. 

    While the COVID-19 pandemic has changed so much about how we fight for a world without cancer, it did not take away your courage or determination. In countless ways, your passion shone through as you continued to support our mission to save lives in 2020.

    Thanks to your efforts, we will end the year on stable footing. Here are just a few of the impressive highlights you helped us achieve:
    • With your support, we offered the use of our Hope Lodge facilities to our partner health systems free of charge as a place of respite for front-line health care heroes.
    • Through our 1.800.ACS.2345 hotline and cancer.org, we continued to provide 24/7 support to cancer patients, who were particularly vulnerable amid the pandemic.
    • ACS CAN impacted access to health care by supporting patient provisions in congressional COVID-19 relief packages, including expanded telehealth services and funding for state public health agencies, and by leading campaigns in Oklahoma and Missouri that expanded access to affordable health insurance through Medicaid for an estimated 430,000 people.
    • Our event and peer-to-peer volunteers and staff worked tirelessly to innovate and fundraise throughout the year without the benefit of in-person engagement.
    • Corporate, philanthropy, and direct mail results have brought in a strong, steady stream of revenue, and planned giving revenue is also expected to finish strong in 2020. 
    • Our investment in digital marketing is paying off, with Giving Tuesday revenue up 49% year-over-year, which gives us momentum to drive further year-end giving results. 
    • Our year-end giving campaign holds great promise. Please share why you support the American Cancer Society on your social channels with a personalized message and link to our year-end giving campaign.
    You can see more about this work and other activities in this video.

    In a year when each of us encountered so many personal challenges – to our families and community, to our health, and to normal day to day living – thank you for continuing to stand with cancer patients and caregivers. So much was at stake this year, but you stepped up, you stepped in, and you continued to move our mission forward. And for that, we are forever grateful. 

    We wish you and your loved ones a holiday season of peace and comfort.


  • Handling a serious illness through the holidays during the COVID-19 pandemic

    Holiday time may seem like the worst time to be sick or have an illness in the family. Even the warmest of traditions lose their luster when you're worried about your health care needs or those of someone you love.

    This year, the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic adds even more concern for people already facing another serious illness. Holiday gatherings are likely to be quite limited for many people, leading to feeling stuck at home, isolated, and sad. But you can still plan for and have meaningful celebrations.

    If you or someone close to you has cancer or another serious illness this year, use these tips and resources to help lift your holiday spirits. Coping with stress in a healthy way will help make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.

    Do:

    • Feel your feelings: Give yourself permission to feel and express your feelings, whether of joy, fear, sadness, or pain. Let yourself laugh or cry.
    • Take care of yourself: Eat balanced meals and make time for some exercise. Physical activity, whether done indoors or outdoors, is a healthy way to release tension.
    • Allow yourself simple pleasures: Take a warm bath, a nap, or eat your favorite foods to help lift your mood.
    • Find distractions: Think about and plan time for bingeing on a TV show, fixing a fancy dinner, watching a live or recorded sports event, playing cards or other virtual games with friends, or taking a walk or drive around your block or in a local park to see the holiday lights.
    • Prepare for the holidays: Decide if you need to adjust certain traditions or create new ones, such as a having a virtual gathering and shopping online. Plan in advance how you want to spend your time, who you'd like to conenct with, and what technology or devices might help make those connections easier.
    • Enlist support: Rely on those around you to safely help with shopping, decorating, gift wrapping and delivery, and meal preparation.
    • Learn to say no: You don't have to do everything. People will understand if you can't attend or do certain activities.

    Don't

    • Don't pressure yourself: Try not to set unrealistic expectations or try to do everything yourself.
    • Don't overindulge in alcohol. It's best not to drink alcohol. And, alcohol is a depressant, so it can "bring out" or heighten bad feelings.
    • Don't try to change your feelings: It's OK to feel sad. Don't try to force yourself to be happy just because it's the holiday season.
    • Don't spend more than you can afford: Buying things will not make up for any negative feelings you are having. Shopping online can be fun, but can also become a habit. Decide how much money you can afford to spend on gifts and other items. Then stick to your budget, and look for the many good deals that are available, too.
    • Don't try to do too much in one day: Plan ahead, setting aside specific days for specific tasks.
    • Don't abandon healthy habits: Eat and drink in moderation. Get plenty of sleep!

    If you're grieving over the holidays

    For people who have lost a loved one, the holidays can be even more difficult. Allow yourself to feel pain and whatever other emotions come along, too. Try following some of the tips above, and remember that although working through grief is important, it's OK to give yourself a break from grieving by distracting yourself with activities you enjoy. Try to use this time to forgive yourself for all the things you did or didn't say or do.

    And remember that you don't have to handle your grief alone. Talk with your family and friends about your loss, or find others who have lost a loved one. Your American Cancer Society is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can help you find support online, local bereavement groups, and other resources. Call 1-800-227-2345.

    This article first appeared on cancer.org

  • Read Gary Reedy's op-ed on how the pandemic has affected cancer patients

    ​In a Dec. 16 op-ed in the Atlanta Journal Constitution (ajc.com), American Cancer Society CEO Gary Reedy discusses how COVID-19 has delayed cancer treatment schedules and preventive diagnostic services.

    "The continued delays that cancer patients and survivors are experiencing are deeply concerning," he writes.

    He cites an early study from the National Cancer Institute that suggests almost 10,000 excess deaths from breast and colorectal cancer over the next decade will be due to disruptions in cancer screening and treatment. 

    And, a recent survey by our advocacy affiliate, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), shows the significant effects the pandemic is currently having and will continue to have on cancer care:

    • More than a quarter (26%) of cancer patients and survivors reported delays in their cancer-related care because of coronavirus.
    • When looking at respondents in active treatment for their cancer, the number increased to nearly one in three (32%). This included 21% of patients in active treatment who reported a delayed or canceled check-up or follow-up appointment specific to their cancer care.
    • Some 64% of all respondents, and 74% of those in active treatment, said they were worried about their ability to stay safe if COVID-19 cases continue to increase.

    To ensure that cancer prevention and early detection remain a public health priority, ACS is partnering with other national organizations on a coordinated effort to support returning to screening safely. See our guidance for health systems.

    Read Gary's full op-ed.


  • New Hope Lodge in St. Louis nears completion

    ​It will be called the World Wide Technology Hope Lodge.

    On Dec. 15, a virtual ceremony was held to give donors a chance to see the inside of our new Hope Lodge in St. Louis. It is pictured above, in the foreground, across the street from the original Hope Lodge, built in 1995. The renovated building is owned by ACS and formerly housed ACS offices and leased offices.

    “As St. Louisans, we are fortunate to have world-class cancer care right here in our backyard. Hope Lodge removes barriers to healthcare and connects patients to the cancer care they need here in St. Louis,” said Jim Kavanaugh, co-founder and CEO of World Wide Technology, vice-chairman of CEOs Against Cancer Missouri chapter, and campaign chair for a new and improved Hope Lodge. 

    World Wide Technology made a $3 million naming gift.

    In 2018, Kavanaugh took a lead role in helping the Society with a $10 million Hope Lodge fundraising campaign. Thanks to his leadership and and the generosity of the Society’s CEOs Against Cancer® Missouri chapter members, local corporations, and the public, we have reached 97% of the fundraising goal. The construction of the facility is complete and we continue to work to raise funds for the operational costs. 

    Several local CEOs and executives spoke during the unveiling ceremony, including Kavanaugh; Joe Koenig, president of World Wide Technology; Joe Leahy, partner and chief creative officer, HLK Agency; Timothy Eberlein, MD, director of Siteman Cancer Center; and Jason McClelland, senior director, regional corporate relations.

    This new facility will feature 42 guest suites and includes additional safety measures to protect immunocompromised guests from COVID-19 or other health threats. 

    The old Hope Lodge is being sold.

    To learn more, visit www.hopeishome.org.

    PHOTO: Pictured in the smaller image, from left, are: Joe Koenig, president of World Wide Technology, and Jim Kavanaugh, co-founder and CEO of World Wide Technology, vice-chairman of CEOs Against Cancer Missouri chapter, and campaign organizer for a new and improved Hope Lodge.



  • Cancer Screen Week is Dec 7 - 11

    More than one-third of people in the U.S. have missed routine screenings this year.

    During Cancer Screen Week December 7-11, the American Cancer Society and partners Genentech, Rally Health, and Stand Up To Cancer aim to increase awareness around the potentially lifesaving benefits of getting screened for certain cancers.  

    Cancer Screen Week is particularly important this year, as more than one-third of people living in the U.S. have missed routine cancer screenings due to COVID-19, potentially leading to many cancers being undetected. 

    This year alone, there were nearly 1 million fewer mammograms, colorectal cancer screenings, and cervical cancer screenings, compared to previous years. The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened potential social determinants of health by creating additional challenges, such as unemployment, potential delays for health appointments, or being at higher risk of COVID-19 infection or complications.  

    We are calling on healthcare providers, employers, insurers, community members and others to join us in encouraging everyone to talk to their doctor about which screenings are recommended for them.  

    A toolkit including a fact sheet, posters, reminder card, and social media posts, has been created for all audiences and includes ideas on how to use the materials within your network. You can choose to use the full toolkit or just certain materials, which can be downloaded and accessed here.

    Learn more at CancerScreenWeek.org.  

  • ACS receives $5M grant from the Woodruff Foundation

    Largest gift in our 20-year history with this Atlanta-based institution - thanks to the work of many staffers!

    The American Cancer Society is thrilled to share the news of a major investment from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation: a $5 million grant in support of our work. The foundation is giving $1 million toward the renovation of our Atlanta Hope Lodge and $4 million in support of our health equity research. 

    The health equity funding will support our ongoing efforts led by our Atlanta-based Population, Data, and Implementation teams. Together, these teams work together to better understand where health disparities exist, contributing factors, and how to deploy evidence-based strategies that aim to reduce these disparities.

    The Woodruff Foundation is an Atlanta-based funding institution that has long supported ACS. The Foundation is focused on improving quality of life in Georgia by investing in health, education, economic opportunity, and community vitality. This is the largest gift we have received from the organization over the course of our 20-year relationship. 

    This grant is special, not only because it supports our mission-critical work at a very challenging time, but because it truly exemplifies how we “win together.” Gary identified the Woodruff Foundation as a key prospect for our 2020 Cancer Research Funding Challenge based on both his relationship with the funder and the organization’s focus on Georgia-based work. The GHQ Philanthropy team then developed the strategy for approaching the foundation. They collaborated with the Southeast Region team, the Office of the Chief Medical and Scientific Officer, and Finance to develop a targeted proposal based on the foundation’s areas of interest. The result was a huge win for ACS! 

    Congratulations to everyone involved in this effort: Gary, Ruth Ann Dailey, Alpa Patel, Ahmedin Jemal, Laura Makaroff, Brant Woodward, Jessica Palmer, Chris Thomas, Crystal Federspiel, Allison Nichols, Lisa Bishop, Amanda Miles, Katherine King, Emily Thomas, Bill Cance, Jennifer Greenwald, Kerri Gober, Monique Compito, Shacquel Woodhouse, Bill Phelps, Joya Harris, Zach Morris, and Joe Cotter!


  • Any day is a good day to quit smoking

    ​ACS offers resources for individuals, community groups, businesses, and health care providers.

    Quitting smoking takes time and a plan. On Thursday, Nov. 19, we celebrated the 45th annual Great American Smokeout, when individuals, community groups, businesses, health care providers, and others encourage people to make a plan to quit, or begin their smoking cessation effort that day. But, as well all know, any day is a good day to make a plan to quit. Visit cancer.org to find help.

    Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. Each year, more than 480,000 Americans die from illnesses caused by smoking. That’s about 1 in 5 deaths in the U.S. each year. Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of cancer death in the U.S., accounting for about 30% of all cancer deaths. Smoking is a risk factor for many cancers, including lung, oral, laryngeal, pharyngeal, esophageal, kidney, cervical, liver, bladder, pancreatic, stomach, and colorectal cancers, as well as myeloid leukemias.

    While fewer people are smoking cigarettes than several decades ago, about 34.2 million adults in the U.S. smoke cigarettes. Certain populations smoke more heavily or at higher rates. And these populations tend to be people who experience inequities in multiple areas of their lives. The burden of tobacco-associated disease is increasingly concentrated among populations experiencing other health inequities, including insufficient access to tobacco cessation services, lung cancer screening, and high-quality treatment for tobacco-associated cancers. 

    The CDC lists smoking as one of the conditions that might put a person at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.  

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