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Register now for the March 5 Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month webcast

Thursday, March 5, 2 - 3 p.m. ET

The National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (NCCRT) and the American Cancer Society will kick off Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month with our annual webcast, featuring Rich Wender, MD, our chief cancer control officer and NCCRT chair, and other special guests. It will mark the second year of the 80% in Every Community campaign.

Register now!

The annual webcast celebrates the exciting work that is happening around the country to increase colorectal cancer screening and spread awareness that screening saves lives. This year, we’ll look back on our shared successes, get updates from the field, and meet the winners of the 2020 80% in Every Community National Achievement Awards. The webcast will include a special focus on the role employers can play in promoting colorectal cancer screening.

Volunteers, individuals, and organizations are invited to join the webcast, which will be broadcast live from ACS headquarters in Atlanta. 

Visit the event webpage to learn more and to register. 

  • Big game, big win for the American Cancer Society

    ​Super Bowl LIV lived up to the hype many were hoping for in Miami, Florida, when the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs took the field. The Kansas City Chiefs – winning the Super Bowl for the first time in 50 years – were not the only winners to come out on top. The American Cancer Society successfully raised awareness and funds for our mission at events and promotions leading up to Super Bowl LIV. 

    Here are some of the highlights:

    • To date, ACS has tracked close to 200 million impressions, particularly among key audiences within the African American, millennial, and sports fan demographic, with amplified awareness through our ACS Masterbrand channels – We amplified and engaged with content from partners, ambassadors, NFL teams, and media throughout the NFL season across all our social channels. 

    • ACS engaged with social media tweets and posts which reached over 11 million followers, related to #CrucialCatch and the Super Bowl Sweepstakes. There were also more than 100 influencer and partner posts engagements, including NFL teams, NFL players, and other influencers supporting the American Cancer Society. 

    • Although the dollars from Superbowl activations are still being counted, we know we raised over $100,000 from the Superbowl Sweepstakes. Other activations included Pro Bowl ticket incentives and our partnership with BET Network and the Super Bowl Gospel Celebration, which highlighted ACS mission and impact in health equity via our CHANGE Grant Program – a focus of our overall impact mission work for 2020 and beyond. 

    • During the 2019 season, ACS and the NFL surprised two cancer survivors with tickets to the Super Bowl. Allan Smith and Dominique Farrar fulfilled their dream in Miami and were hosted by ACS and the NFL to a memorable, once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

    • Through the Crucial Catch Super Bowl Sweepstakes, Michelle Gipson, a 15-year Kansas City Chiefs season ticket holder who lost her mom to breast cancer, was sent on the VIP trip of a lifetime to Super Bowl LIV in Miami. After discovering she carried the BRCA2 gene mutation, Michelle opted for preventive surgery to reduce her breast cancer risk.  

    • Our celebrity partners, Caleb McLaughlin and Ken Jeong not only helped create a memorable experience for our sweepstakes winner but also showed their support through their personal social media channels. 
    Social media highlights

    Earned media highlights of Crucial Catch Sweepstakes winner

    Our work with the NFL continues to elevate the American Cancer Society brand and shows the impact we can have through our Sports Alliances and celebrity partners. Thank you to all the amazing volunteers, staff, and partners that made this Super Bowl experience possible! 

  • 2020 Volunteer Summit wraps up in Atlanta!

    ​This year's theme was #ElevateEveryMoment

    The American Cancer Society’s 2020 Volunteer Summit, previously known as the Nationwide Volunteer and Staff Leadership Summit, took place on February 12 and 13 at the Loew’s Hotel in Atlanta. 

    Approximately 250 volunteer leaders, primarily Area Board members, and their staff partners attended the event, co-hosted by Marquetta Bryan, Georgia Area Board chair, and Jeff Fehlis, executive vice president, South Region. 

    The opening session featured CEO Gary Reedy; Kris Kim, acting chief operating officer; Bill Cance, MD, our chief medical and scientific officer; Lisa Lacasse, president of ACS CAN, and other senior leaders sharing enterprise priorities and key aspects of our three-year enterprise strategic plan. The session also included words from Dan Heist, immediate past chair of the ACS Board of Directors, and Jeff Kean, 2020 Board chair.

    On Wednesday, participants learned about "The Role of Health Equity" and "Relationship Sales." Panelists for the session on health equity were Dr. Rick Ngo, Houston Area Board, South Region; Pooja Mishra, MBA, MHA, FACHE, LSSGB, executive director, Georgia Cancer Center for Excellence, Grady Health System; Laurie Bertrand, executive director, Development, North Region; Carolyn Rhee, past chair Los Angeles Central Coast Area Board, West Region; Dave Panana, AZ/NM Area Board member; and Tracy Wiedt, managing director, Healthy Communities, ACS. 

    The "Relationship Sales" session showcased the value and art of relationship selling vs. transactional selling, especially in the non-profit arena where we're asking people to give their time, talent, or treasure versus buying a product. Three videos highlighted staff and volunteer successes. Presenters were Rob Soles, Illinois Area Board, North Central Region; Crystal Yelverton, director, Field Sales Relationship Management, ACS; and Latanza Adjei, senior VP of sales and marketing, Georgia Power.

    Later in the afternoon, a session on "Embracing and Enlisting Diversity" featured Tawana Thomas-Johnson, our VP, Diversity & Inclusion, ACS; Naomi Rainey Pearson Erdmann, Los Angeles Central Coast Area Board and Long Beach NAACP president and community activist; Wendy Johnson, executive director, Development in Tampa, Southeast Region; Dr. Christal Morris, VP, Global Inclusion Diversity, Idex Corp.; and Dr. Kimberly Jeffries Leonard, ACS CAN board. All area planning related to volunteer growth and leadership succession must include specific diversity and inclusion goals appropriate to that market.

    The last session of the first day was on access to care. The goal was to have volunteer leaders understand the efforts and needs regarding transportation resources for patients, and our ongoing advocacy efforts. Presenters were Jeff Martin, Advocacy Administration and Training Operations, ACS CAN, and Lindsay Maggio McElwee, executive director, Development, in South Texas, South Region.

    The keynote speaker on Wednesday was Bob Somers, senior VP of sales, for Delta Airlines. He discussed #CreatingMoments and customer experience.

    On Thursday, Mike Neal, senior EVP, Field Operations, reviewed highlights of 2019. Mike also shared his vision on how the strategic plan can be executed at the community level, with a focus on 2020.

    The closing speaker was Dave Rose, a cancer survivor, and former Brigham Young University basketball head coach. In June 2009, on a late-night flight, he became ill, feeling dizzy and lightheaded. Paramedics took him from the plane directly to the hospital where the doctors discovered a tumor in Dave’s stomach and proceeded to remove it along with his spleen, a portion of his pancreas, and nearby lymph nodes. Later, doctors diagnosed him with pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor cancer. The surgery was a success and he has been in remission. Since that time, Dave has served on the National Coaches vs. Cancer Council and has lobbied before Congress for more funding for cancer research. 

    The opening and closing presentations are being recorded and replays will be available next week.

    TOP PHOTO: From left, Jeff Fehlis, Gary Reedy, Kris Kim, Lisa Lacasse, and Bill Cance, MD.

  • ACS launches Relay For Life chatbot via Facebook Messenger

    Chatbot helps maximize customer self-service by answering common questions 

    The American Cancer Society recently launched a new chatbot within the Facebook Messenger platform on the American Cancer Society Relay For Life Facebook page. This chatbot focuses on helping consumers quickly find answers to commonly asked questions related to Relay For Life.

    These common themes were identified for why a customer would use the Messenger platform before creating this unique chatbot.

    • General Relay For Life information
    • How to find a local event
    • How to donate
    • How to dedicate a luminaria
    • How to fundraise

    This chatbot will help customers find answers to their questions by providing information, videos, or links where applicable. When a more complex answer is required, such as a specific cancer related question, the chatbot will guide them to call NCIC or use Live Chat on cancer.org.

    Users can access the chatbot on their mobile device or computer by visiting the American Cancer Society Relay For Life Facebook page and clicking "Send Message". A customer will then be able to choose to join an event, explore topics, or contact us with one click.

    A similar chatbot for the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Cancer Facebook page will be coming soon.

  • Help promote Give Blood to Give Time and consider donating blood

    ​We hope you have been seeing our Give Blood to Give Time ads popping up on the internet.

    One features model Cindy Crawford, whose brother died from leukemia before he turned 4 years old. Today, as a spokesperson for the American Red Cross, she helps shine a light on how blood donors play an important role in the battle against cancer.

    Another video features Hannah, a young girl who underwent lots of transfusions during her treatment for leukemia. Now in remission, Hannah says: “For every blood donor out there, there is not enough gratitude in the world for you guys. You are giving a life to someone who needs a life, so thank you.”

    And, if you have not seen this moving video, watch now

    This joint campaign with the American Red Cross was launched on Feb. 10 and continues through Feb. 29. We want people to know that blood donations help patients fighting cancer. Chemotherapy and radiation can damage the body's ability to generate healthy blood cells and cause potentially life-threatening conditions. Blood transfusions from generous donors help to provide patients with critical clotting factors, proteins, and antibodies needed to help their bodies fight back.

    Cancer patients use nearly 1/4 of the blood supply – more than patients fighting any other disease – but only 3% of Americans donate blood in a given year.

    Here’s how you can help:

    • Schedule a blood donation:  To donate blood, individuals need to bring a blood donor card or driver's license or two other forms of identification that are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in general good health may be eligible to donate blood. If you want to donate platelets, which takes loner than donating blood, watch this video. A whole blood donation takes about an hour from start to finish, but the actual donation itself only takes about 8-10 minutes. Platelet donation may take up to two and a half hours, and a Power Red donation is about an hour and 15 minutes long. A Power Red donation allows you to safely donate two units of red blood cells during one donation. Donors of all blood types, especially type O, and platelet donors are urgently needed. Platelets – a key clotting component of blood often needed by cancer patients, surgical patients, and bone marrow transplant recipients – must be transfused within five days of donation, so there is a constant, often critical, need for platelets to keep up with hospital demand. 
    • Make a financial gift: Give a financial gift to the American Cancer Society to support its comprehensive approach to attacking cancer that includes breakthrough research, free rides to treatment, free lodging near hospitals and a live 24/7 helpline. Or, donate to help the American Red Cross to support the collection and distribution of lifesaving blood products to cancer patients in need.

    Visit GiveBloodToGiveTime.org to do either!

    Helping underwrite this is Merck Pharmaceuticals.

    If you missed the story about the launch of Give Blood to Give, read this.

  • Advocates ask lawmakers to end deaths from cervical cancer globally

    Check out ACS CAN's new video on the issue

    Twelve ACS CAN volunteers were on Capitol Hill on Feb. 11 to ask Congress to act to end deaths from cervical cancer globally. It is currently the primary cause of cancer-related death among women in 42 low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

    new video was launched yesterday on the ACS CAN website that highlights the issue.

    Through dedicating a portion of U.S. global health funding to improve access to preventive vaccinations, screenings, and cervical cancer treatment in LMICs, eliminating deaths from cervical cancer can be realized. 

    Last year ACS CAN released a report that takes an in-depth look at the growing burden of cervical cancer in LMICs. The report, shared with members of Congress, lays out the leading role the U.S. government could play, in coordination with other international efforts, in ending death from cervical cancer around the world.

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

    “No woman has to die from cervical cancer. Tremendous progress has been made in the United States in the fight against this disease over the past 30 years, resulting in cervical cancer death rates dropping by more than 50 percent domestically. In contrast, incidence rates are exponentially higher in other areas around the world, particularly in low and middle-income countries. Today cervical cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death for women in 42 countries. These high rates of cervical cancer around the globe clearly illustrate the need for timely action.

    “ACS CAN is proud to be one of the leading advocacy organizations pushing for U.S.-led investment to end cervical cancer deaths globally. Congress has a significant role to play in the fight against cervical cancer and we hope lawmakers will continue to see the value in this vital campaign.”

    Advocates targeted particular legislators because of their Committee assignments and role in Congress as leaders in matters of global health.  

  • Partnership with Andersen grows

    ​Window and door manufacturer has donated windows to Hope Lodge

    In just 15 months of partnering with ACS, Andersen Corporation and Renewal by Andersen have raised $604,000 for the American Cancer Society, as well as provided tens of thousands of dollars of in-kind donations.

    Since 2018, Minnesota-based Renewal by Andersen has been a committed partner. In that first year, Renewal by Andersen mobilized its network and kicked off its “Wear Pink, Save Lives” campaign. They set a goal of raising $150,000 during the month of October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Thanks to the dedication of all of their locations across the country, they blew that goal out of the water, raising more than $207,000 in just a few short weeks. 

    In 2019, Renewal by Andersen announced it would help the American Cancer Society fight for a world without cancer all year round. Its 2019, its "Wear Pink. Save Lives.” campaign raised $241,750, and the company installed 114 new windows at our Hope Lodge in Kansas City, MO, saving us more than $100,000 in product and labor.

    Renewal by Andersen’s partnership expanded to its parent company, Andersen Corporation, when American Cancer Society became a featured charity for its employee giving campaign. That raised $155,063 in October 2019.

    Watch Renewal by Andersen General Manager David Meade, a cancer survivor, explain why the company is proud to support ACS. The video also features Dave Bension, EVP, North Region.

    This year, Renewal by Andersen will be donating and installing new windows at our AstraZeneca Hope Lodge Center in Boston.

    For questions about these partnerships, please contact Keely Couillard and Casie Kamph.

    Andersen Corporation and its affiliates make up the largest window and door manufacturer in North America.

    TOP PHOTO: Pictured from left, Cindy Makel, Amy Haynes, Christi Erickson, Mike Noble, Suzanne Swanson, Keely Couillard, and Ashley Berndt, all ACS staffers; Anthony Carrino, HGTV influencer; Matt Martinek, ACS; David Reber, general manager Kansas City Renewal by Andersen; Adam May, communications manager, Renewal by Andersen; Danica Cherry, ACS; and two Renewal by Andersen installers.

  • Higher lung cancer incidence among young women than young men is a global phenomenon

    The increase is largely driven by adenocarcinoma of the lung – which occurs more frequently in women than men.

    A study published Feb. 5 by four researchers, including two from ACS, finds that the emerging pattern of higher lung cancer incidence among young women than young men is widespread across geographic areas and income-levels.

    The authors say this pattern "is not fully explained by sex-differences in smoking prevalence, underscoring the need for etiologic studies." They also warn that "our findings forewarn of a higher lung cancer burden in women than men at older ages in the decades to follow. Further work is therefore needed to intensify anti-tobacco measures and identify factors for the higher incidence of lung cancer among young women."

    The study was published online in the International Journal of Cancer

    The two ACS researchers contributing to the study are Lindsey Torre, MSPH, and Ahmedin Jemal, DVM, PhD. This new study extends an earlier study led by Dr. Jemal that found that in the U.S. the incidence of lung cancer in young women is higher than that in their male counterparts.

    The researchers examined lung cancer incidence rates from 1993 to 2012 in women and men, ages 30 - 64, in 40 countries across five continents. Among men, the age‐specific lung cancer incidence rates generally decreased in all countries, while in women the rates varied across countries with the trends in most countries stable or declining, albeit at a slower pace compared to those in men. As a result, rates in ages 30-49 years became higher in young women than in young men in Canada, Denmark, Germany, New Zealand, the Netherlands, and the United States, reversing the historically lower rates in women than men. This crossover was largely driven by growing adenocarcinoma incidence. 

    The researchers posit that "it is possible that females may be at an increased risk of lung cancer compared to males.” They cite a pooled analysis of 13 studies that “found that lifelong female nonsmokers of European, African American, and Asian-descent had higher rates of lung cancer compared to their male counterparts." It's possible, they write, that women have a higher susceptibility to lung cancer because of various gene variants. "Research has suggested that women with lung cancer have impaired DNA repair mechanisms compared to men, which makes them especially susceptible to lung cancer," the researchers wrote. 

    Historically, lung cancer rates have been higher among men because they start smoking in large numbers earlier and smoke at higher rates, the researchers explained. However, there has been a convergence in lung cancer incidence between men and women. 

    With an estimated 2.1 million cancer cases in 2018, lung cancer is the most common cancer worldwide among men and the second most common cancer among women. By histologic type, it is grouped into four major categories: nonsmall cell carcinoma, adenocarcinomas, squamous cell carcinomas, and large cell carcinomas.  

    Cigarette smoking is the main risk factor for all lung cancer subtypes, though the risk of lung cancer associated with smoking is greater for small cell and squamous cell lung cancers than the other types. Other known risk factors for lung cancer include exposure to secondhand smoke, mineral and metal dust, asbestos, and radon.

    The best way to avert future lung cancer cases and deaths among current smokers is through smoking cessation. The risk of dying of lung cancer can be reduced substantially by quitting at any age.


  • ACS CAN: Administration's budget risks reversing progress against cancer

    The Administration's FY21 budget released this week contains significant cuts to health care programs. If implemented, the cuts could leave millions more Americans uninsured and unable to access comprehensive health coverage and stall medical research essential to preventing, detecting and treating cancer.

    The budget cuts funding for medical research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by $3 billion, including a nearly $500 million cut for the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and reduces cancer prevention programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) by almost $44 million while combining numerous chronic illness prevention programs—including the Office on Smoking and Health (OSH)—into one single program with no guarantee that tobacco prevention and cessation initiatives would continue. The budget also proposes eliminating the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) role regulating the tobacco industry instead replacing it with a new agency with a Senate-confirmed head within the Department of Health and Human Services.

    A statement from Lisa Lacasse, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) follows: 

    Access to Care

    “If implemented, the administration’s budget would leave millions more Americans unable to access comprehensive health care coverage whether that be through the private market with health care subsidies or through essential public programs such as Medicaid.

    “Medicaid serves as a safety-net for more than 2.3 million Americans with a history of cancer. Ensuring it is appropriately funded is critical for reducing the country’s cancer burden and saving lives through prevention, early detection and treatment.
    “The budget does offer some relief for seniors by capping out-of-pocket prescription costs for those on Medicare Part D and allowing some low-income enrollees to be spared cost-sharing on generic drugs. These would be welcome changes and could help enrollees better afford their care.

    Research

    “The proposed cuts to NIH and NCI funding included in this budget would squander years of renewed momentum and progress in advancing discovery in cancer and other chronic diseases.

    “These investments have long enjoyed strong bipartisan support and have led to incredible understanding in how to detect, diagnose and treat cancer that still claims the lives of more than 600,000 Americans each year.

    “The president has signaled his interest and desire for continued progress reducing cancer incidence and deaths. Increasing research investment—not cutting it—is indispensable to that effort. 

    Prevention

    “We know colorectal cancer can be prevented with regularly-scheduled screenings which is why we are pleased to see the budget includes a provision that would eliminate cost-sharing for seniors on Medicare who are hit with a surprise bill during a routine screening colonoscopy when a polyp is discovered and removed during the same procedure. However, those not yet on Medicare also need access to colonoscopies and other proven cancer screenings. Increased investment in CDC cancer control programs would accelerate our progress against the disease for everyone, while eliminating these programs and cutting funding will hurt low-income, underinsured Americans. 

    “Cutting the CDC’s chronic disease budget by 34% and eliminating specific funding for tobacco control programs threatens to substantially weaken, if not eliminate, vital efforts to reduce the number one preventable cause of cancer: tobacco. And the proposal to strip the FDA of its ability to regulate the tobacco industry amid an ongoing youth e-cigarette epidemic is shortsighted. Creating a new agency with politically appointed leadership would give the tobacco industry far too much influence over future tobacco regulation. 


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