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Reach To Recovery assets and digital campaign launch today

​Resources and campaign are designed to promote new digital and bilingual resources.

To better support the needs of those facing breast cancer, the Reach To Recovery® program fully transitioned to a digital first approach earlier this year. 

Since the program launched, more than 300 volunteers have been trained, and more than 1,700 patients have created a Reach To Recovery profile. Based on program surveys, patients report a 96% satisfaction rating.

Now, we are excited to share that the Reach To Recovery website and mobile app are available to patients in Spanish.

The Reach To Recovery website and app allow those facing breast cancer to create an online profile and see possible volunteer matches immediately. Patients who want to connect with a Spanish-speaking volunteer can indicate that preference when creating their profile.

Patients and volunteers can connect through online chat, phone, or exchanging messages. Video chat will also be available through the Reach To Recovery website and app later this year.

Patients can access Reach To Recovery by visiting reach.cancer.org. To view the site in Spanish, patients should select “Spanish” from the language drop down at the top of the page. They can also search for ‘ACS Reach To Recovery’ on Google Play or the App Store to download the app. 

Volunteers should visit the Volunteer Community to complete Reach To Recovery volunteer training prior to registering online. Then, they will receive a unique invitation to create their online volunteer account.

Here’s what patients are saying about the program:

  • “It was super helpful to have tips for managing all the overwhelming to do list after my diagnosis. It was also helpful to talk to someone with a husband and how they managed the diagnosis as a couple.”
  • “It was wonderful to connect with someone under 40 and able to discuss the unique challenges of the diagnosis.”
  • “[The volunteer] provided the emotional support I needed and discussed a little more information about her own journey with cancer, so I felt much less alone after the call.”

Resources now available

Creative assets now available on Brand Toolkit! Staff can use these materials to promote the Reach To Recovery website and app in their markets. Here’s what’s included in the new Reach To Recovery Field Toolkit: 

We’re also launching an in-market paid media campaign to drive broader awareness of and engagement with the program.

Staff are encouraged to engage with and share our Masterbrand social media content, and use the new digital assets to share on local and/or regional social media channels. 


  • Our first-ever #ACSGivingDay is Tuesday, May 18

    A day to rally together for a world free from cancer.

    The first-ever American Cancer Society Giving Day brings our community together for one big day to celebrate all that we’ve accomplished and raise funds to lead the fight for a world without cancer. 

    Our goal is to raise $1 million in just 24 hours. Among other things, these funds will help get cancer research back on track, encourage more people to get cancer screenings that were delayed by the pandemic, and support our efforts to improve health equity in cancer care.

    Here are 3 ways to get involved: 

    GIVE: At the beginning of the pandemic, cancer screening rates dropped by nearly 90%. Your gift helps encourage more people to get life-saving screenings and supports cancer research, education, advocacy, and services.

    SHARE: The most compelling way to encourage others to give is by sharing your personal experiences with cancer and why you support the American Cancer Society. Use our social media toolkit for easy ways to share! Use #ACSGivingDay to tag your post, and feel free to start posting several days before as well as on the big day.

    REPRESENT: Download a social media frame to show everyone that you support a cancer-free future! Thank you for being a part of our Giving Day. Be sure to follow us on social media on May 18 for news, updates, and more! 

    Important details

    • Our generous partners at Mastercard will double your gift, up to $150,000.
    • For our event participants, gifts made the week before May 18 will count toward our Giving Day.
    • Because this is a 24-hour event, donations made by mail will not be counted toward the initial Giving Day goal or match. 
    • If your employer has a valid matching gift program, add your employer's name in the space provided on the online donation form at cancer.org/acsgivingday.
    • Gifts may be made in honor or memory of a loved one.

  • ResearcHERS campaigns kick off this month

    ​The goal is to raise at least $1.6 million.

    ResearcHERS is a movement that shines a light on the incredible discoveries made by women, and empowers women leaders to support the American Cancer Society’s national research program that funds some of the brightest female minds in cancer research. 

    This  fundraising campaign began in the North Central Region in 2019 and now has a nationwide focus with 32 campaigns in the month of May – goaled at over $1.6 million. As of May 3, more than $640,000 had already been raised. 

    ResearcHERS is fundraising by women, to support and sustain women-led research and careers. Here’s how:

    The staff supporting ResearcHERS: Women Fighting Cancer of Indiana in the North Central Region are celebrating a big win.. Through engaging leaders, stewarding past ambassadors, and leveraging volunteers to exceed goal, the campaign recently secured an individual personal gift of $150,000 for one of their ambassadors. 

    The recipient, Cathy Langham, is the co-chair for the Indiana campaign. She secured the gift through sharing the ACS story and demonstrating how the donation will impact our mission. Cathy is now the top candidate on the leaderboard for ResearcHERS by over $100,000. 


    More about ResearcHERS

    The American Cancer Society is proud to be a top supporter of women in cancer research. Currently, nearly half of ACS’ grantees are women, most of them early in their careers. As of January 1, 2021, there are 664 grants in effect totaling $382.3 million and of that total 299 are women-led research projects totaling $156.1 million. Your are invited to view replays of the inspiring virtual kick-offs that took place in April in the North Central and Northeast Regions.

    If you  would like to learn more about the ResearcHERS campaigns, visit www.acsresearchers.org.


  • ACS seeks applications for health equity grants

    This new program will fund Cancer Health Equity Research Centers at minority serving institutions.

    The American Cancer Society is deeply committed to addressing the complex societal factors – such as racism, discrimination, and poverty – that prevent all people from having a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer. Now, we’re launching a new competitive grant program to help minority serving institutions target cancer health disparities unique to a local community. 

    This funding is intended to support the formation of new Cancer Health Equity Research Centers (CHERCs) at minority serving institutions. To be considered a minority serving institution, at least 25-50% of a college or university’s enrollment should be comprised of a single or combination of racial or ethnic minorities, such as Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, Tribal Universities, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions, and Asian American and Pacific Islander Serving Institutions. The grants will help stimulate novel collaborations and approaches to mitigate societal risk factors, contributing to our goals for achieving health equity and reducing cancer mortality. 

    Visit cancer.org to learn more about the program and share with your fellow volunteers and supporters yet another way ACS is innovating to reduce disparities and move closer to health equity. 

    Important dates 

    Letters of intent are due by 11:59 p.m. ET on June 15, 2021. Those letters will be used for selecting investigators to submit a full application. An independent and competitive peer review of grant applications will be conducted in October 2021, and awardees will be notified on Oct. 27, 2021.

    Potential applicants can learn more by attending a 2 p.m. ET Microsoft Teams meeting on May 20. It will be recorded.

    Again, all these details and more can be found on cancer.org.


  • New report on cancer research and disparities

    Non-Whites more likely to report negative experience about their treatment.

    A new report from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) takes an in-depth look at disparities across all areas of cancer research and suggests immediate policy solutions that could help address such gaps in the years to come.

    The report, Cancer Research and Disparities: Understanding and Addressing the Issues, finds that different types of research can either exacerbate or minimize cancer disparities, as can the makeup of the cancer care and research workforce.

    For instance, while racial and ethnic minority groups and older patients are equally willing to participate in clinical trials as other groups, they are often underrepresented in clinical trials. Reasons for this disparity include everything from insurance status and trial location to the trial designs themselves, which often do not identify, understand, or address disparities in cancer outcomes.

    Also, research to identify and address disparities in outcomes has to be deliberate and specifically designed. This research often requires significant over-representation of certain populations and the inclusion of information from a wide array of clinical and social science work. Without such an approach, research may miss why cancer outcomes are often worse for patients with limited access to care, lower socioeconomic status, and other factors.

    “Addressing disparities in all areas of cancer research is essential to tackling the disproportionate cancer burden communities of color and people living in under-resourced areas too often experience,” said Lisa Lacasse, president of ACS CAN. “No one should be disadvantaged in their fight against cancer because of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, their gender identity, their disability status, or where they live.”

    Yet preliminary results from a forthcoming ACS CAN Survivor Views survey, finds Hispanic and non-white respondents were more likely to report a negative experience when asked about different aspects of their treatment, including whether they were confident they had access to the best and most effective treatment, if they were an active participant in their care, and whether they were able to get the preventive care needed as a survivor. And more than 1 in 8 respondents whose annual household income is $35,000 or less reported that it is not easy to receive preventive care like check-ups and regular cancer screening.  

    Policy measures that would address research disparities were discussed during ACS CAN’s National Policy Forum on the Future of Health Care earlier this month and were included in the report:

    • Shield patients from out-of-pocket ancillary costs of trial participation: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the Inspector General should clarify policies to ensure reimbursement of ancillary costs such as travel, parking, and housing by clinical trial sponsors is not seen as undue influence and ensure awareness of allowable reimbursements.
    • Maintain and expand access to Medicaid: State Medicaid programs provide essential coverage for people with limited incomes including various populations likely to be underrepresented in clinical trials.
    • Issue permanent guidance on the conduct of decentralized clinical trials: During the COVID-19 pandemic the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) significantly expanded opportunities for the use of decentralized trial practices like telemedicine, which could allow greater participation of underrepresented groups in clinical trials. These flexibilities are set to expire with the end of the public health emergency.
    • Address genetic variation leading to disparate responses to cancer therapeutics: Ancestry and genetic inheritance can have a direct effect on how a drug is metabolized, thus affecting the safety and efficacy of the treatment. FDA should collect evidence regarding differential safety and efficacy of therapies based on ancestry and ensure drug labeling accurately reflects these differences. Congress could also give FDA the authority to require sponsors to design clinical trials with appropriate demographic representation when prior evidence points to likely ancestral disparities in safety or efficacy.
    • Invest in a diverse cancer care and research workforce: The National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) should expand existing opportunities and programs that support career development for scientists and researchers from underrepresented minority groups.

    “Cancer research needs to reflect the people and communities it is meant to serve,” said Lisa. “We cannot afford to ignore or neglect the critical role of diversity in advancing medical science. We need to take decisive action to eliminate cancer disparities in all areas of cancer care, including in cancer research.”

    The full report, including all of the detailed policy provisions, and a recording of the National Policy Forum, where the report and other cancer equity issues are discussed, are both available online.


  • Cancer research groups push for emergency funding to restart clinical trials be included in infrastructure package

    An estimated $10 billion is necessary to recoup pandemic-related costs and delays.

    A group of more than 50 cancer research-focused organizations, including ACS CAN, are urging Congress to include $10 billion in emergency funding to restart cancer research and clinical trials at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) stalled by the coronavirus pandemic.  

    In a letter sent to lawmakers, members of the One Voice Against Cancer coalition say without the additional resources in the forthcoming American Jobs Plan, promising research will languish and potentially be lost entirely.

    A statement from Lisa Lacasse, president of ACS CAN, follows:

    “The pandemic’s impact on cancer research has been severe. Early shutdowns forced research to come to an abrupt halt, and restarting trials has required implementing new protocols, procuring personal protective equipment and sometimes restarting work altogether that otherwise could not be resumed. The cost of these disruptions has been significant and threatens to jeopardize progress in the effort to reduce our country’s cancer burden for years to come.

    “Clinical trials are often the best and sometimes only course of treatment for patients in need of care. On behalf of all cancer patients, survivors and their families, we urge Congress to include this additional NIH funding in the American Jobs Plan and ensure medical research can keep moving forward without delay.”

    Read the full letter.

    About ACS CAN at 20 

    The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) makes cancer a top priority for policymakers at every level of government. ACS CAN empowers volunteers across the country to make their voices heard to influence evidence-based public policy change that saves lives. We believe everyone should have a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer. Since 2001, as the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN has successfully advocated for billions of dollars in cancer research funding, expanded access to quality affordable health care, and made workplaces, including restaurants and bars, smoke-free. As we mark our 20th anniversary, we’re more determined than ever to stand together with our volunteers and save more lives from cancer. Join the fight by visiting www.fightcancer.org


  • National Relay Weekend is May 14-15

    ​All Relayers are invited to participate in this virtual event.

    This year we are virtually celebrating the Relay spirit during the very first National Relay Weekend. Unite with Relayers across the country to honor loved ones and celebrate our impact in the fight against cancer. Join us for 24-hours of activities for the entire family. 

    Share this opportunity with your Relay teammates, friends, family, and sponsors  – this is a weekend they will not want to miss!







    Before the weekend even gets started, Relayers are encouraged to participate in Spirit Week from May 10-14. If you were already thinking back to your high-school days, this is your time to shine. Dress up, post pictures, and share stories on social media to get hyped for National Relay Weekend. Make sure to use hashtags #RelayForLife and #WhyIRelay.

    Now, for the big event – National Relay Weekend! Can you participate in all 24 activities in 24-hours? Stay up all night and join a Tik Tok party, Zumba class, take themed laps around your house or neighborhood, learn more about our mission, and much more. 

    Take the 24 activities in 24-hours challenge. All activities can be found on the National Relay Weekend website.

    National Relay Weekend highlights 

    Friday, May 14

    • 9 p.m. ET: Opening Ceremony 

    Saturday, May 15

    • 11 a.m. ET: Survivor / Caregiver Ceremony
    • 3 p.m. ET: Fight Back Ceremony
    • 8 p.m. ET: Luminaria Ceremony
    • 9 p.m. ET: Closing Ceremony 

    To register with a local team, visit RelayForLife.org

  • ACS leads effort to increase cancer screening rates; public awareness campaign launches this month

    The American Cancer Society has long been a leader in raising awareness about the importance of cancer screening. Now, amid unprecedented declines in screening rates as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are approaching our efforts to increase screening rates with more urgency than ever.  

    Even before the pandemic, screening rates weren’t high enough. We don’t know the full extent of the decline due to the pandemic yet, but this much is clear: if we don’t act with sustained urgency to help people get back to screening, we could see a rise in cancer mortality rates in the coming years.  

    Every movement needs a leader, and the American Cancer Society is the organization to lead the charge at the local, state, and national levels. We’re convening partners in all sectors – health systems, corporate partners, community organizations, government, and more – to make sure people are getting their recommended screening tests. Our efforts will focus on populations with traditionally lower screening rates, including populations who have been historically disadvantaged.

    This work has already started and will continue throughout 2021 and beyond. Here’s a look at the six components of the effort: 

    • National consortium – We’re convening a group of national influencers to identify strategies to minimize the effects of the pandemic on cancer screening and care. This group met for the first time on March 18 and includes founding sponsor Genentech and governmental agencies, leading cancer screening and advocacy organizations, professional societies and associations, research institutions, national organizations representing diverse populations, national roundtables and collaboratives, and industry partners.
    • Public awareness campaign – In mid-May, we will launch a multi-faceted public awareness campaign to raise awareness about the importance of screening.  
      Research – Our in-house team of scientists are examining the impact of the pandemic across the cancer continuum from prevention to cancer screening to outcomes. Staff from OCRI’s Surveillance and Health Equity team published a special section on COVID-19 and cancer in Cancer Facts & Figures 2021.
    • State and coalition leadership – We are working with an existing network of state and territorial-level comprehensive cancer control coalitions and cancer-specific roundtables to advance our organization mission priorities. A number of materials have already been shared with state and local cancer coalition leaders, including this guide to resuming cancer screening, a cancer screening messaging guidebook, and an issue brief. Please note that these materials are intended for a professional audience including health care providers, cancer coalitions, and professional associations and organizations only; they should not be shared with the public.
    • Health systems screening interventions – We’re engaging with priority health systems across the US in evidence-based interventions to increase screening rates. This work includes providing technical assistance and resources to rapidly increase screening rates, addressing disparities and reducing barriers to screening exacerbated by the pandemic, and creating learning communities to foster best practice sharing.
    • Policy – ACS CAN is pursuing public policy solutions to help ensure access to timely screening and follow-up care.

    Here are a few ways you can support our efforts:

    • Make sure you’re up to date on your recommended screening tests. 
    • Encourage your friends and family to get screened.
    • Learn more about screening by visiting cancer.org/stayhealthy.
    • Post about the importance of screening on your personal social media.

  • FDA moves to ban menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars; ACS CAN applauds the action

    On April 29, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it will prohibit menthol cigarettes and all flavors in cigars. Ending menthol flavoring in cigarettes and all flavors in cigars is a long overdue step forward in reducing youth tobacco initiation, helping adults quit and reducing tobacco-related cancer, as well as combating Big Tobacco’s targeting of Black communities, who consistently report the highest prevalence of menthol cigarette use.

    The 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act prohibited the use of flavors in cigarettes and cigarette smoke, but exempted menthol. However, Congress ordered FDA to consider the evidence regarding menthol cigarettes and gave FDA authority to prohibit menthol if “appropriate for public health.”

    In 2013, 19 public health groups, including the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) filed a Citizen’s Petition urging FDA to exercise its regulatory power to prohibit menthol in cigarettes. However, when FDA failed to respond to the Citizen’s Petition in a timely manner, public health groups, led by the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council and Action on Smoking and Health, filed a federal lawsuit to compel the FDA to take action on menthol. Today’s welcome action from FDA is in response to that lawsuit.

    The following is a statement from Lisa Lacasse, ACS CAN president:

    “ACS CAN applauds the administration for announcing action to eliminate menthol in cigarettes and all flavors in cigars. With tobacco use being the number one cause of preventable death and responsible for one-third of all cancer deaths, we congratulate the FDA on taking this next step to remove Big Tobacco’s ability to lure new customers into a lifetime of addiction with menthol in cigarettes and all flavors in cigars. This decision will save lives from cancer caused by tobacco use.

    “FDA’s long-awaited decision to take action to eliminate menthol flavoring in cigarettes and all flavors in cigars ends a decades-long deference to the tobacco industry, which has repeatedly demonstrated its willingness to profit from products that result in death. Eliminating menthol in cigarettes and all flavors in cigars will also help combat the health disparities intentionally driven by Big Tobacco's predatory practices to addict Black, LGBTQ and low-income communities for decades.  

    “Menthol has had a particularly disproportionate impact on African Americans with 85.5% of Blacks who smoke using menthol cigarettes, as compared to 46% of Hispanics who smoke, 39% of Asians who smoke and 28.7% of whites who smoke. FDA’s actions today send a clear message that Big Tobacco’s strategy to profit off addicting Black communities will no longer be tolerated.

    “It is well documented that menthol makes it easier to start smoking and more difficult to quit. It is also the preferred flavor among youth, with roughly half of teens who smoke reporting menthol cigarette use. Furthermore, cigars are the second most popular tobacco product used by youth and currently the most popular tobacco product among Black youth. Eliminating menthol in cigarettes and all flavors in cigars will reduce youth initiation to help ensure kids never start smoking. We urge swift action to finalize this move. Any delay will result in more lives lost as a result of these products.

    “ACS CAN has been urging FDA to prohibit menthol, including in cigarettes, and all flavors in cigars in our call for a total flavor prohibition in all tobacco products for years. ACS CAN is committed to continuing our work with Congress, state and local lawmakers to end the sale of menthol cigarettes and all other flavored tobacco products.”


    In an April 29 news release,, Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, MD, said:  

    “Banning menthol—the last allowable flavor—in cigarettes and banning all flavors in cigars will help save lives, particularly among those disproportionately affected by these deadly products. With these actions, the FDA will help significantly reduce youth initiation, increase the chances of smoking cessation among current smokers, and address health disparities experienced by communities of color, low-income populations, and LGBTQ+ individuals, all of whom are far more likely to use these tobacco products. Together, these actions represent powerful, science-based approaches that will have an extraordinary public health impact. Armed with strong scientific evidence, and with full support from the Administration, we believe these actions will launch us on a trajectory toward ending tobacco-related disease and death in the U.S.”  Read the FDA press release here.


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