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ACS researcher: Too soon to draw conclusions from new data finding no health benefit to aspirin

​Results from a large new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine show no health benefit to taking daily aspirin, but Eric Jacobs, Ph.D., our senior scientific director of epidemiology research, say it’s premature to draw any firm conclusions from the study.

The study provides some evidence against the routine use of aspirin for disease prevention in men and women over age 70 without cardiovascular disease. A higher cancer death rate among aspirin users in the study has not been seen in other randomized trials. 

"No clear conclusions about the effect of aspirin on risk of death from cancer can be drawn at this point," says Eric. “The new results from ASPREE do not mean that people (with or without a history of cancer) who are taking aspirin because they have had a heart attack or stroke, should stop taking aspirin."

To read more on this, check out David Sampson's ACS Pressroom Blog. David is the director of medical and scientific communications for the American Cancer Society.

  • Senate approves balanced opioid package

    Bill addresses abuse while preserving access for seriously ill patients

    On Sept. 17, the U.S. Senate passed the Opioid Crisis Response Act with strong bipartisan support. The legislation builds off a similar opioid package passed by the House of Representatives earlier this year, and includes key provisions that:

    • Encourage the development and use of non-opioid medications
    • Improves federal support of state run prescription drug monitoring programs 
    • Increases innovative research on pain treatment
    • Encourages the safe disposal of unused opioid medications by medical professionals and hospice workersRequires the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Justice to conduct a study on the effects of federal and state opioid prescribing limits on patients

    The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is supportive of many of the provisions adopted in the Senate bill and continues to call for balanced solutions that won’t erect unintended barriers to appropriate pain care for cancer patients and survivors living with chronic conditions.

    A statement from Chris Hansen, president of ACS CAN, follows:

    “We commend the Senate for advancing thoughtful legislation that addresses the very serious public health crisis that has arisen from the misuse and abuse of opioids. The Opioid Crisis Response Act is a promising step forward as Congress works to bolster research efforts focused on the development of non-addictive pain treatments and strengthen state-run programs aimed at reining in the abuse of opioids.

    “ACS CAN continues to advocate for a balanced approach to addressing the opioid abuse epidemic that won’t create unintended consequences for cancer patients and survivors who rely on prescription medications to maintain their quality of life during and after treatment.

    “We urge the Senate and House to quickly work out the differences in their respective bills and help accelerate progress against this serious public health problem."

  • FDA acknowledges youth e-cigarette crisis

    ACS CAN says the agency should use its full regulatory authority to address the problem

    Below is a statement ACS CAN issued on Sept. 13, the day the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) acknowledged that youth use of electronic cigarettes has "reached an epidemic proportion." As a result, FDA is giving several leading electronic cigarette manufacturers 60 days to produce a plan to reduce youth sales.

    The following is a statement from Chris Hansen, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN):

    "Today's FDA announcement acknowledging teen electronic cigarette use as a public health epidemic is a welcome and necessary first step to addressing what FDA recognizes as a serious problem. Clearly the FDA knows who the industry culprits are in this epidemic and as such should exercise its full regulatory authority over these products rather than allow the industry to voluntarily self-correct.

    "When Congress passed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act in 2009 it gave FDA the tools and authority needed to adequately regulate tobacco products and prevent youth from starting tobacco use. However, because of numerous rule-making delays and a seeming reluctance to fully assert its authority, FDA for years has repeatedly missed opportunities to keep tobacco products out of the hands of our children and we have seen e-cigarette use among youth hit epidemic levels.

    "We urge FDA to require pre-market review of all new tobacco products and prohibit the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, unless those products undergo full pre-market review. This is essential to preventing another generation of teens from becoming addicted to dangerous tobacco products."

  • Latest global cancer estimates released by ACS and World Health Organization

    One in 5 men and one in 6 women worldwide develop cancer during their lifetime, and one in 8 men and one in 11 women die from the disease

    The latest global cancer estimates were published today in CA: A Cancer Journal for CliniciansIt is a joint report by ACS and the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), and three ACS staffers are co-authors:  Lindsey A. Torre, MSPH; Ahmedin JemalDVM, PhD; and Rebecca L. Siegel, MPH.

    The article's introduction notes that "cancer incidence and mortality are rapidly growing worldwide," and that "cancer is expected to rank as the leading cause of death and the single most important barrier to increasing life expectancy in every country of the world in the 21st century." 

    Global cancer burden (excluding include non-melanoma skin cancers) 

    • The global cancer burden is estimated to have risen to 18.1 million new cases and 9.6 million deaths in 2018
    • Worldwide, the total number of people who are alive within 5 years of a cancer diagnosis is estimated to be 43.8 million.

    The increasing cancer burden is due to several factors, including population growth and aging, as well as the changing prevalence of certain causes of cancer linked to social and economic development. This is particularly true in rapidly growing economies, where a shift is observed from cancers related to poverty and infections to cancers associated with lifestyles more typical of industrialized countries.

    Effective prevention efforts may explain the observed decrease in incidence rates for some cancers, such as lung cancer in men in Northern Europe and North America, and cervical cancer in most regions apart from Sub-Saharan Africa. However, the new data show that most countries are still faced with an increase in the absolute number of cases being diagnosed and requiring treatment and care.

    Global patterns show that for men and women combined, nearly half of the new cases and more than half of the cancer deaths worldwide in 2018 are estimated to occur in Asia, in part because the region has nearly 60% of the global population. 

    • Europe accounts for 23.4% of the global cancer cases and 20.3% of the cancer deaths, although it has only 9.0% of the global population. 
    • The Americas have 13.3% of the global population and account for 21.0% of incidence and 14.4% of mortality worldwide.
    • In contrast to other world regions, the proportions of cancer deaths in Asia and in Africa (57.3% and 7.3%, respectively) are higher than the proportions of incident cases (48.4% and 5.8%, respectively), because these regions have a higher frequency of certain cancer types associated with poorer prognosis and higher mortality rates, in addition to limited access to timely diagnosis and treatment in many countries.

    Major cancer types in 2018

    • Cancers of the lung, female breast, and colorectal are the top three cancer types in terms of incidence, and are ranked within the top five in terms of mortality (first, fifth, and second, respectively). Together, these three cancer types are responsible for one third of the cancer incidence and mortality burden worldwide. 
    • Cancers of the lung and female breast are the leading types worldwide in terms of the number of new cases; for each of these types, approximately 2.1 million diagnoses are estimated in 2018, contributing about 11.6% of the total cancer incidence burden. 
    • Colorectal cancer (1.8 million cases, 10.2% of the total) is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer, prostate cancer is the fourth (1.3 million cases, 7.1%), and stomach cancer is the fifth (1.0 million cases, 5.7%). 
    • Lung cancer is responsible for the largest number of deaths (1.8 million deaths, 18.4% of the total), because of the poor prognosis for this cancer worldwide, followed by colorectal cancer (881 000 deaths, 9.2%), stomach cancer (783 000 deaths, 8.2%), and liver cancer (782 000 deaths, 8.2%).
    • Female breast cancer ranks as the fifth leading cause of death (627 000 deaths, 6.6%) because the prognosis is relatively favorable, at least in more developed countries. 

    Global patterns by level of human development

    For many cancers, overall incidence rates in countries with high or very high Human Development Index (measurement of life span, education, and standard of living) are generally 2–3 times those in countries with low or medium HDI. However, the differences in mortality rates between these two categories of countries are smaller because lower-HDI countries have a higher frequency of certain cancer types associated with poorer survival, and access to timely diagnosis and effective treatment is less common. 

    • In men, lung cancer ranks first and prostate cancer second in incidence in both developed and developing countries.
    • In women, incidence rates for breast cancer far exceed those for other cancers in both developed and developing countries, followed by colorectal cancer in developed countries and cervical cancer in developing countries. 

    Global cancer patterns by sex

    MEN: Lung cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men (14.5% of the total cases in men and 8.4% in women) and the leading cause of cancer death in men (about 1 in 5 of all cancer deaths). This is followed by prostate cancer (13.5%) and colorectal cancer (10.9%) for incidence and liver cancer (10.2%) and stomach cancer (9.5%) for mortality. 

    WOMEN: Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women (24.2% or about 1 in 4 of all new cancer cases diagnosed in women worldwide are breast cancer), and the cancer is the most common in 154 of the 185 countries included in the study. Breast cancer is also the leading cause of cancer death in women (15.0%), followed by lung cancer (13.8%), and colorectal cancer (9.5%), which are also the third and second most common types of cancer, respectively; cervical cancer ranks fourth for both incidence (6.6%) and mortality (7.5%).

    Worrying rise in lung cancer in women

    Lung cancer is a leading cause of death in both men and women and is the leading cause of cancer death in women in 28 countries. The highest incidence rates in women are seen in North America, Northern and Western Europe (notably in Denmark and The Netherlands), China, and Australia and New Zealand, with Hungary topping the list.

    "Best practice measures embedded in the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control have effectively reduced active smoking and prevented involuntary exposure to tobacco smoke in many countries," says Dr Freddie Bray, head of the Section of Cancer Surveillance at IARC. "However, given that the tobacco epidemic is at different stages in different regions and in men and women, the results highlight the need to continue to put in place targeted and effective tobacco control policies in every country of the world." 

    "These new figures highlight that much remains to be done to address the alarming rise in the cancer burden globally and that prevention has a key role to play," says IARC Director Dr Christopher Wild. "Efficient prevention and early detection policies must be implemented urgently to complement treatments in order to control this devastating disease across the world." 

    Where to find global cancer statistics

    IARC, part of the World Health Organization, maintains an online database called the GLOBOCAN 2018 that provides estimates of incidence and mortality in 185 countries for 36 types of cancer. The address of this user-friendly site, where you can produce maps and explore visualizations of the global cancer burden, is

    Note: Our Global Cancer Facts & Figures will be published later this fall, and will include a special section on excess body weight statistics.

  • FRIDAY is the deadline for taking our Health Equity survey

    Your input will help us create materials and tools that will be used to build health equity champions and reduce cancer disparities

    If you haven’t completed the survey yet, please fill it out today. The deadline is this Friday, Sept. 14.

    By answering a few questions, you will help us understand the current knowledge of volunteers around the issue of health equity.

    The survey is part of a three-year, $4.3 million investment by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to grow our capacity to address the social determinants of health, advance health equity, strengthen the case for health equity action, and spread key lessons and outcomes related to health equity.

    Thank you!

  • We need tech savvy volunteers for our National Volunteer Training Team!

    ​Deadline for submitting applications is September 28!  

    Our National Volunteer Training Team (NVTT) is recruiting new members to assist with training and development for volunteers and staff in technology-related systems and processes.  The ACS is nearing the launch of a variety of new tools and systems and will need to build capacity across the organization. 

     The NVTT will conduct virtual training for these new technology platforms beginning in early 2019.  Preparation for training will take place over the last few months of 2018. 

    If you fit the bill, please apply! Or, if know a tech savvy volunteer, please encourage them to join this important training team. 

    We welcome brand new volunteers to this role, as well as existing volunteers.

    A complete list of the role expectations and requirements is included in the application.  

  • Telling the ACS Story – in our email signature

    New email signature highlights how we are attacking cancer from every angle

    Every time we talk about the American Cancer Society – whether it's on, on social media (including our personal pages), with family and friends, or on email – we're telling the ACS story. The more consistently we tell the ACS story about how we're attacking cancer from every angle, the more relevant we become. 

    That's why this month the American Cancer Society updated everyone's email signatures. We've applied our brand guidelines to create a new layout for staff names, titles, and contact information, and added a message about one of our angles of attack. 

    This new unified email signature for ACS staff now features the story of Vanessa from our brand stories page on We'll update the angles of attack about every other month to develop awareness of our mission programs and services and build relevance. It is a small change that reflects the bigger effort underway across the American Cancer Society to tell our story in new ways.

  • ACS selects first project in new accelerator pipeline

    Funds and intellectual support aim to help speed medical devices and technology to market

    The American Cancer Society and the Atlanta-based Global Center for Medical Innovation (GCMI) have selected the first project to be funded under a recently launched partnership to identify, fund, and promote promising medical devices and technologies within the ACS portfolio of current or previously-funded research. The goal of the initiative is to identify and solve critical unmet needs through innovative technology solutions to diagnose and treat cancer and bring them to market.

    The ACS and GCMI have selected Boston University's BOTLab as the first oncology project to enter the program. BOTLab, short for Biomedical Optical Technologies Lab, will receive up to $100,000 to accelerate BOTLab's near-infrared spectroscopy (NIR) technology. The aim is to use the technology to provide real-time data that can determine how well chemotherapy is working in breast cancer patients. The funding is in addition to an existing ACS grant to investigators at BOTlab intended to accelerate high-quality commercialization of innovative medical technologies.

    The initiative is part of an ACS effort to invest in later stage development projects among ACS grantees to speed the development of diagnostics, drugs, and therapies to help cancer patients. By promoting a culture of innovation and commercialization, ACS seeks to increase the impact of each donor dollar and reduce time-to-cures. ACS seeks to allow select ACS grantees to work closely with medical product development experts to translate their research ideas into high-quality products for commercial launch and patient treatment in a time and cost-efficient manner.

    Together with GCMI, the ACS will continue to identify projects from among current and past grantees that are appropriate for development of medical devices and technologies in the accelerator setting.

    Through this partnership, the two organizations will bring together healthcare centers, academic centers, leading researchers, industry, and product development experts with an international group of innovative companies to identify and solve critical unmet needs.

    ACS and GCMI have committed to jointly raise a $5 million dedicated Partnership Development Fund to cover project activity costs. The initiative aims to fund three to five projects per year.


  • Exciting offer for Zac Brown Band fans!

    Know a Zac Brown Band fan? If so, tell them about the opportunity to win two VIP tickets to the 45th Annual Cattle Baron's Ball in Dallas on Oct. 20. 

    For as little as a $10 donation to ACS, they could win:

    • Two (2) VIP tickets to the Cattle Baron's Ball, with access to The Charlie Daniels Band concert and seating at the Zac Brown Band concert in the first four rows. This includes all food, drinks, and spirits.
    • Meet and greet with Zac before the concert
    • Signed guitar by Zac Brown
    • Roundtrip airfare to Dallas, TX
    • One night hotel accommodations for winner and guest

    Visit the Prizeo site to learn more. This sweepstakes ends on Oct. 4, 3 p.m. ET. 

    Read the official rules.

    The Cattle Baron's Ball will be held at Gilley's Dallas, and this year's theme is "Sapphires and Spurs." To date, the ball has generated over $77 million.

    The first Cattle Baron's Ball, 44 years ago, was a full-fledged Texas barbecue under the chairmanship of Patti Hunt and Jacque Wynne, who founded the event to raise funds for cancer research through the American Cancer Society. More than 500 guests attended the western-themed event in 1974, and raised $56,000. Today the ball hosts more than 3,000 guests and raises millions each year.

    Country music's most revered performers have entertained at the ball throughout its 44-year history, including Tammy Wynette, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, George Strait, Waylon Jennings, Brooks & Dunn, Clint Black, Dwight Yoakam, Big & Rich, Toby Keith, Sugarland, and Brad Paisley.

    Its legendary live auction raises more than $1.5 million every year.

    To learn more, visit the event's web site

    About the Zac Brown Band 

    Since 2009, the Atlanta-based Zac Brown Band has earned 55 award nominations from the Grammys, Academy of Country Music, American Music Awards, Country Music Association and Country Music Television, and won eight. The Zac Brown Band led the nominees for the 46th annual Academy of Country Music Awards 2011, with a total of nine nominations including: Vocal Group of the Year, Album of the Year, Single Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Vocal Event of the Year. Their #1 hits include "Chicken Fried," "Toes", "Highway 20 Ride," "Free," "As She's Walking Away," "Keep Me in Mind," "Sweet Annie," and "Homegrown."

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