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Dr. Cance featured in Authority Magazine online

​Bill Cance, MD, our incoming chief medical and scientific officer, was featured in a recent interview with Authority Magazine. Dr. Cance shared his path to oncology, how bold, innovative thinking can help reduce disparities and impact the global burden of cancer, and his perspective on leadership. Dr. Cance officially joins the ACS staff team on October 21!

  • HPV vaccine should be part of the back-to-school routine

    Prepping for back-to-school means buying new supplies, clothes, and backpacks, but it's also time to make sure children are protected from cancer. 

    This fall, the American Cancer Society is reminding parents that making sure girls and boys ages 11-12 receive the HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine should be part of the back-to-school routine.

    Every year in the United States, more than 33,000 men and women are diagnosed with cancers caused by HPV. HPV has been linked to six types of cancer, including cervical cancer and throat cancer. The HPV vaccine can prevent most of these cancers. But vaccination rates remain low; in 2018, only about half of adolescents were up to date on the HPV vaccine.

    The HPV vaccine is safe and effective. As with all vaccines, HPV vaccine safety is constantly monitored through surveillance and reporting systems, and these systems continue to show that HPV vaccination is safe. Studies continue to prove that HPV vaccination is effective, decreasing the number of infections and HPV pre-cancers in young people since it was introduced.

    ACS is leading Mission: HPV Cancer Free, an initiative to eliminate vaccine-preventable HPV cancers, starting with cervical cancer. "HPV vaccination offers the very rare opportunity to help prevent not just one but six types of cancer. Just two doses of this vaccine, given to kids at age 11 or 12, and starting as early as nine, can prevent 90% of HPV cancers," said Debbie Saslow, PhD, managing director, HPV & GYN Cancers for the American Cancer Society.

    Infection with HPV is very common, and four of five people will get it at some point in their lives. It is best to complete the series by your child's 13th birthday. The body develops better protection against HPV at this age than in the late teens and early 20s.

    The HPV vaccine is cancer prevention. A good first step for parents is to talk to your child's health care provider. To learn more about the HPV vaccination go to cancer.org/HPV.

  • CDC: Half of U.S. teens were up to date on HPV vaccination in 2018

    Biggest gains seen in males

    New data released by the Centers for Disease Control show that the rate of 13-17 year olds with 1 dose of the HPV vaccine increased slightly, from 65.5% in 2017 to 68.1% in 2018, and the rate for series completion increased from 48.6% to 51.1%. The biggest increases were seen in males. 

    The CDC analyzed data on 18,700 adolescents ages 13-17 from the 2018 National Immunization Survey — Teen. Girls continue to be vaccinated at a higher rate than boys, but boys made a bigger improvement in 2018. About 53.7% of girls were up to date on HPV vaccine last year, up from 53.1% the year before. Among boys, 48.7% were fully vaccinated compared to 44.3% in 2017.

    Results of the survey were published August 22 in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Review

    The data show that HPV vaccination rates for adolescents whose parents reported receiving a provider recommendation were 28 percentage points higher than those who did not. Overall, 77.5% of parents reported receiving a provider recommendation for adolescent HPV vaccination. Prevalence varied by state, ranging from 59.5% in Mississippi to 90.7% in Massachusetts.

    Several states saw impressive increases in their HPV vaccination rates in 2018:

    • Kansas (9.9 percentage points for 1st dose)

    • Alabama (9.9 percentage points for series completion)

    • Minnesota (11.9 percentage points for completion)

    • Ohio (11.2 percentage points for completion)

    • Wyoming (11.1 percentage points for completion).

    CDC also released a report updating the HPV cancer incidence rates, showing that estimates for HPV cancers continue to rise in the U.S.– now at 34,800 cases per year. 

    At ACS, we continue to contribute to the larger national effort to increase HPV vaccination rates and decrease rates of HPV cancers. Preliminary data from the HPV VACs Activity and Impact Report 2018-2019, to be released in the next month, show that our health systems approach is working. We are seeing health system, local, and statewide changes where our partnerships are strong.

    Over the last five years, ACS has partnered with more than 700 health systems on HPV vaccine uptake, and we are making gains. Of those 700 systems, cancer control staff worked closely with 100 health systems to implement evidence-based interventions within 635 clinics. These interventions produced an average increase of 14 percentage points in clinics’ HPV vaccine series initiation rates – a tremendous achievement. 

    Through our partnerships, more than 15,000 providers have been trained on the importance of the HPV vaccine as cancer prevention, and 45 health plans are now encouraging their networks of providers to vaccinate. 

    ACS staff also reach beyond health systems to engage state and local government and professional societies to increase rates in communities across the country. Our staff lead these efforts in nearly 75% of states. 

    Lastly, efforts to educate the public on the importance of HPV vaccination have taken off since the launch of Mission: HPV Cancer Free in summer of 2018, both at a grassroots level through community engagement and coordinated national marketing work. 



  • Still seeking volunteers for our Gen2End leadership team!

    Applications are due by Sept. 13

    The American Cancer Society seeks to be the premiere cancer nonprofit where young professionals want to volunteer and work. 

    To facilitate this need, we are seeking volunteers to serve on the Gen2End leadership team. The Gen2End leadership team will be responsible for driving young professional volunteer engagement with the ACS. They will work to implement a 5-year Gen2End strategic plan that will engage this group (ages 22-35) into every aspect of our fight to end cancer. 

    An ideal candidate for the leadership team will have at least one year of ACS experience, preferably in a leadership role. Team members will need to commit to an 18- to 24-month term. The team will primarily meet by virtual calls and the work requirement is expected to be 4-6 hours per week

    Each team member will have responsibility for unique aspects of the Gen2End Strategic Plan and will be expected to:

    • Understand with proficiency and speak to the overall Gen2End strategic plan with both external and internal audiences, including executive level staff and members of the Board of Directors
    • Create a positive and productive partnership with your identified ACS staff person
    • Collaborate across team roles and with additional Society stakeholders to achieve over-arching goals
    • Learn and apply volunteerism trends and engagement best practices for young professionals
    • Work with skills-based volunteers to deliver on our goals

    Interested applicants need to apply by Sept. 13. The Gen2End chairs and staff partners will be conducting interviews in September and will notify all applicants of their selection by the end of that month. 

    Selected applicants will be joining a team of:

    • Self-starters, balancing strategic thinking with an ability to define and deliver the tactical steps needed to operationalize our vision
    • Empowered leaders who seek to inspire more leaders rather than control the process
    • Collaborative partners who respectfully challenge ideas with thoughtful feedback meant to improve our results
    • Fast-paced action takers who honor our commitments to each other, to our staff partners, and to the mission of the American Cancer Society
    • Innovative risk takers who are comfortable driving forward while the road is still being paved 

    If you have questions, need further information, or would like the full position summary sent to you, please email ACSVolunteerCare@cancer.org.


  • TODAY at 1 p.m. - Join a discussion about health equity

    Volunteers and staff encouraged to attend 

    On Sept. 5, we will continue our webinar series on health equity and how it impacts the fight against cancer. 

    “Health Equity Through the Cancer Lens,” is scheduled for today at 1 p.m. ET and is open to all interested volunteers and staff.  Join the webinar here

    The presenters will be Rich Wender, MD, our chief cancer control officer, and Anthony Iton, MD, JD, MPH, senior vice president of Healthy Communities, The California Endowment. 

    For ACS and ACS CAN, health equity means everyone has a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer. To achieve health equity, individuals and populations with the greatest needs, least resources, and increased barriers require different, not equal, effort and resources to improve their health. 

    Staff and volunteers should tune into this webinar to learn more about how ACS defines health equity, the drivers of health inequities, and our current health equity work. This webinar will provide context for volunteers and staff to think about how to apply a health equity lens to their work. Future webinars will highlight best practices to achieve health equity.

    For more information, please contact healthequity@cancer.org.

  • CDC and FDA investigate lung illnesses linked to vaping

    ​Federal experts are investigating reports of severe lung illnesses in people who used e-cigarettes (also known as vaping). So far 25 states have reported 215 possible cases of severe lung disease linked to vaping, including one man who died in Illinois. 

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are continuing to gather information on these cases to determine if specific devices, ingredients, or contaminants in the devices, or substances are linked to these illnesses. They are assisting state and local health officials and doctors on how to better understand the illnesses and their causes.

    According to the CDC, many patients reported symptoms that started slowly, including having shortness of breath, coughing, or chest pain. Some patients reported vomiting, diarrhea, or other stomach problems, as well as fever or fatigue. Some patients who reported symptoms said they used e-cigarette products that contained THC and other chemicals found in marijuana.

    There is still a lot the CDC and FDA don't know. So far, the health agencies have not found one specific product, chemical or substance that's linked to all the cases, or whether the illnesses are different diseases with similar symptoms. The CDC and FDA are investigating the brand and types of e-cigarette products used and analyzing samples in their labs to determine if they contain nicotine, THC, or other chemicals or ingredients that could be causing the illnesses.

    Children, teenagers, young adults, pregnant women, and people who do not currently use tobacco products should never use e-cigarettes.

    For people who vape and are concerned about these illnesses, the CDC recommends refraining from using e-cigarettes .The CDC also recommends:

    • Do not buy e-cigarette products "off the street.
    • Do not modify e-cigarette products or add anything to them.
    • If you have symptoms including cough, shortness of breath, and chest pain, go to the doctor.
    • If you use any tobacco product, including e-cigarettes, and want to quit, contact your doctor
    • If you are concerned about the harmful effects of e-cigarette products, call poison control: 1-800-222-1222.
    • The FDA also encourages people who have any health or other problems related to tobacco or e-cigarette problems to report them to their online Safety Reporting Portal.

    Learn more about e-cigarettes

    E-cigarettes are still fairly new, and more research is needed over a longer period of time to know what the long-term effects may be. The American Cancer Society is closely watching for new research about the effects of using e-cigarettes and other new tobacco products.

    The vapor or aerosol that comes out of an e-cigarette can contain substances that are addictive and can cause lung disease, heart disease, and cancer. Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is very addictive and can harm the brain development of teenagers. If used during pregnancy, nicotine may also cause premature births and low birthweight babies.

    "The American Cancer Society strongly urges that non-smokers should never start using e-cigarettes or vaping in any form," said the Society's Chief Cancer Control Officer Rich Wender, MD. "Adult smokers who may be using vaping devices instead of smoking regular cigarettes should attempt to quit all nicotine containing substances, including e-cigarettes.  Adults who vape and are not ready or able to quit should only use unaltered e-cigarette products, should not purchase vaping products from an unknown source, and should not add anything to the devices." 

    This story first appeared on cancer.org. 


  • New guidelines will improve cancer care in Sub-Saharan Africa

    Cancer is twice as lethal in Sub-Saharan Africa as it is in the U.S. and access to the guidelines will help local providers save more lives from cancer.   

    This week, a collaborative project from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®), the African Cancer Coalition, the American Cancer Society, and others to improve cancer outcomes across Sub-Saharan Africa entered a new phase in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 

    Oncologists from 11 African countries are attending a meeting hosted by the Ethiopian Health Minister where they are finalizing additional NCCN Harmonized Guidelines™ for Sub-Saharan Africa, bringing the total to 42. The guidelines will provide best practice cancer treatment recommendations for more than 86% of all adult cancer incidence in the region. 

    In addition to covering various cancer types, the guidelines provide treatment recommendations for pain management, survivorship, smoking cessation, and other aspects of supportive care. 

    ACS CEO Gary Reedy delivered opening remarks to thank the group for their commitment to improving care for patients in Africa. In a press release announcing the guidelines, he said: “The American Cancer Society is proud to be part of this critical step toward standardizing cancer care in Africa. The harmonization of 42 NCCN guidelines is a tremendous accomplishment that would not have been possible without the collaboration of individuals and institutions committed to advancing cancer care in Africa.”

    The medical recommendations have been officially endorsed in Ethiopia, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia. Together, those countries are home to 43% of the population of Sub-Saharan Africa. 

    The African Cancer Coalition and the NCCN are now beginning work on guidelines for the treatment of pediatric cancers. 

  • Gary Reedy joins ACS Global Team in Africa

    First visit to Africa as ACS CEO

    CEO Gary Reedy is in Africa this week with ACS’s Global Cancer Control team to participate in a series of meetings and get a first-hand look at how our organization collaborates with partners to reduce the burden of cancer in low- and middle-income countries. 

    Many of the advances in prevention, early detection, treatment, and palliative care we’ve made in the U.S. haven’t made their way outside our borders to low- and middle-income countries. That’s why ACS is committed to sharing what we’ve learned about fighting cancer. 

    Our Global Cancer Control team collaborates with partners in developing countries to share information about prevention and detection, increase access to treatment and palliative care, help patients navigate the cancer experience and obtain support during treatment, and make cancer a national priority in the countries in which we work.

    Gary and Ambassador Sally Cowal, SVP, Global Cancer Control, will travel to Ethiopia and Kenya – two of our key partner countries in Africa – to connect with key stakeholders about our shared work. Here’s a day-by-day look at their schedule.  

    Monday – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

    • Meet with the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI). CHAI is a key partner in ACS’s chemotherapy pricing agreement work, which launched in 2017 and has increased access to and affordability of 16 essential cancer treatment medications. 

    • Visit two major hospitals in Addis Ababa. 

    Tuesday – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

    • Meet with the Honorable Dr. Amir Aman, health minister of Ethiopia. As recently as two years ago, the country only had three oncologists – and a population of about 100 million. The country has made great strides and now has trained 10 new oncologists and is building six new regional cancer centers. 

    • Meet with Bob Carlson, CEO, National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN). 

    Wednesday – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

    • Attend a meeting of the African Cancer Coalition. 

    Thursday – Nairobi, Kenya

    • Visit Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH), including time with the facility’s CEO. Gary and Sally will also view the future site of the Hope Hostel, which is scheduled to break ground later this year. They will also meet with the organization’s patient navigation team, which ACS has partnered with extensively to help them build the capacity of their patient navigation program. 

    Friday – Nairobi, Kenya

    • Meet with our civil society partners, including several SOURCE Program participants. 

    • Visit two hospital partners. 

    Learn more about our Global Cancer Control work here.

    TOP PHOTO:  Sally Cowal, (third from left), senior VP, Global Cancer Control, and Gary Reedy touring the St. Paul's Oncology Center in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.


  • FDA reveals new ads to warn kids about e-cigarettes

    ​The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is launching a new series of TV ads to teach kids about the dangers of using e-cigarettes

    The ads are part of an educational effort that started in September 2018 and is designed for kids aged 12 to 17 who have used e-cigarettes or thought about trying them. The effort also includes posters, social media messages, and educational materials for school classrooms that warn against vaping.

    The FDA says the messages are important because evidence shows that teens who use e-cigarettes are at risk of becoming addicted to nicotine. They also are more likely to start smoking regular cigarettes, putting them at risk for smoking-related illnesses.

    "We cannot allow the next generation of young people to become addicted to nicotine, said acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless, MD, in a statement. "We will continue to work to keep e-cigarettes out of the hands of America's kids through policies to limit youth access to, and appeal of, e-cigarette products, take vigorous compliance and enforcement actions to hold manufacturers and retailers accountable when they illegally market or sell these products to minors, and continue to spearhead highly successful public education efforts to warn youth about the dangers of all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes."

    The tagline of the new ads is, "It's not magic; it's statistics." They feature British street magician Julius Dein turning e-cigarettes into regular cigarettes in front of the eyes of surprised teens. The magic trick is meant to send the message that teens who use e-cigarettes are more likely to start smoking. The ads will appear on TeenNick, CW, ESPN, and MTV, music streaming sites, social media networks, and other media channels geared to teens.

    Also part of the campaign are posters for display in high school bathrooms that warn about dangerous chemicals in some e-cigarette liquid. Examples of the messages include:

    • "You might as well flush your lungs while you're at it. Vaping can deliver toxic metal particles, like nickel, lead and chromium directly into your lungs."
    • "When you find out what's in a vape, you won't be relieved. Vaping can expose you to some of the same cancer-causing chemicals as those found in cigarette smoke."

    Vaping endangers kids

    The FDA has called e-cigarette use among teenagers "an epidemic" and called on manufacturers including JUUL, Vuse, MarkTen, blu e-cigs, and Logic to keep their products out of the hands of minors by changing sales and marketing practices, which may mean cutting out the candy and fruit flavors that appeal to teens. Last month, JUUL's CEO apologized to parents whose children had become addicted to e-cigarettes.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said:

    • E-cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco product by American kids.
    • More than 3.6 million middle and high school students in the US used e-cigarettes in 2018, a significant increase of 1.5 million from the year before.
    • E-cigarettes contain nicotine and other harmful substances.
    • Like regular cigarettes, e-cigarettes put kids at risk of addiction, lung damage, and other health problems.

    Nicotine can cause the brain to crave more nicotine and can harm brain development in adolescents.

    This story first appeared on cancer.org.

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