One very interesting and promising statistic published by the American cancer society (ACS), celebrates a 20% decline in cancer deaths since 1991; this 20% decline translates to approximately 1,340,400 cancer deaths avoided during this time period (Simon, S. 2014). In addition to carrying out research and publishing statistics of this nature the ACS plays very important roles in providing support to cancer survivors.
There ara a multitude of services available through the ACS, services such as finding and providing information about specific cancers, assisting with fundraising for research, assisting patients in finding funding to pay for their treatments. In some cases the organization has been able to get volunteers together who help by donating their time and other resources to help patients cope with their diagnoses. For instances, some volunteers have taken it upon themselves to give free rides to cancer patients who need a way to get to their treatment centers.Through education one gets empowered to overcome obstacles, education also eliminates fear and ignorance as well as help the patient to have reasonable expectations of their disease process. The ACS is a treasure trove of information and education about different types of cancers.
Exposure to carcinogens and certain genetic mutations are some of the ways people develop certain cancers. The more people know and understand about cancers and their pathophysiology, the more likely people are to avoid these cancer causing agents. People would also be more apt to avoid situations that expose them to carcinogens, such as working with carcinogenic chemicals, smoking cigarettes or exposure to second hand smoke. Some policy changes that can make a change in the incidence rates of cancers is banning cigarette smoking in public places.
One of the research programs funded by the ACS is the epidemiology research or cancer prevention studies. The ACS describes the mission of this research as an epidemiology research program that is focused on conducting and communicating high quality epidemiologic research that could advance our understanding of cancer causes, prevention and survivorship and thereby reducing the burden of cancer. The ACS website describes the goals of this research as follows
To conduct and publish research to increase our knowledge of the environmental, behavioral, and biologic causes of cancer and cancer survivorship.
To communicate research to inform and motivate cancer prevention and survivorship strategies, policies, and practice.
To establish the Cancer Prevention Study-3, a large multi-ethnic US cohort to identify causes of cancer and reduce cancer burden (American Cancer Society. n.d. ).
If this research achieves its stated goals it could increase awareness about some of the environmental, behavioral and biological factors responsible for the development of cancers. The research can stimulate and motivate cancer prevention and survivorship strategies, policies and practices.
Simon, S. (2014). Cancer Statistics Report: Deaths Down 20% in 2 Decades. Retrieved from http://www.cancer.org/cancer/news/news/cancer-statistics-report-deaths-down-20-percent-in-2-decades
American Cancer Society. (n.d.). Epidemiology Research Program: Cancer Prevention Studies. Retrieved fromhttp://www.cancer.org/research/researchprogramsfunding/epidemiology-cancerpreventionstudies/index
If I had a loved one diagnosed with Cancer I would recommend
that they make contact with American Cancer Society in convenient ways such as
by phone at 1-800-227-2345, the internet @ www.cancer.org
by reaching out in either of these forms to the ACS I expect that my loved one
will be directed to a courteous person that will guide him or her to the
support that he or she is looking for. I expect this response because I
actually called the number to ask questions. The services range from explaining
the cancer diagnosis in easier to understand language, what questions to ask his
or her doctor, tools and online classes helping patients to manage the effects
of sickness and treatment to handling insurance issues. It seems that all of the real life concerns a
person would have who is now unable to work and care for his or her self as
they were before the medical problem existed, are addressed to better support
the cancer patient. Every sort of issue, such as transportation and filling medication
prescriptions are considered and are incorporated into the services offered to
cancer patients in ACS support programs. (ACS, 2013)
Factors that affect the yearly incidence and mortality rates
of various cancers in America include the age of the person afflicted with the
cancer, and changes in population estimates. Note that older people in general develop
cancer more than all other age group. Also the fact that population estimates
are affected by the pattern of census bureau data collection; lower socioeconomic
status cancer patient have the highest death rates, racial and ethnic
minorities have greater cancer disparities due to lack of health care services.
(ACS, 2013) Policies that increase the ability of people to obtain health
insurance and to receive preventive care services such as health screenings, health
and nutrition education; and other health resources that encourage healthy lifestyle
behaviors for example.
The Preventive and Health Behaviors Research Program looks
at describing and taking action on issues related to health behaviors like
physical activity, diet, tobacco control and cancer screenings (ACS, 2013)
Learning from data collected from individuals with documented poor health
behaviors and the links to risk factors for cancer over time.
American Cancer Society, (2013) Retrieved from
The American Cancer Society has invaluable resources available to families who are affected by Cancer. Having had personal experience in using their resources years ago when our son was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma I can attest to their helpfulness and support. I must admit it has been years since I’ve been to their website, so it was fun taking a look at the new research and support services they have to offer. When a family experiences a cancer diagnosis you are hungry for information that can educate and give hope for a cure. By referring someone to the ACS webpage information is readily available on all types of cancer; the signs, symptoms, treatment and research that is offered. There is a bookstore where more information can be accessed. The tab “find support” is important for the psychological walk through cancer. The ACS has available groups meeting throughout numerous communities where people can go to get that support while going through chemo, radiation and surgeries. Local chapters are full of resources both written, webinars, and person-to-person contact. During this terrible time it’s important not to recluse and feel alone. The ACS can help in giving you hope for a future without cancer. It’s important to give people access to as much information as they need to help them walk through this terrible diagnosis.
Cancer statistics are staggering. The factors that contribute are many times environmental or self inflicted risks such as smoking, drugs, and unhealthy lifestyles of poor diet and exercise. Corporate changes in policy and practice can help with these figures over time. For instance public places such as courthouses, government buildings, hospitals, medical buildings and restaurants are instituting or have instituted no smoking on the premises policies. When you make it impossible for your employees to smoke on the job, it can only improve their health and the health of those around them. The American Cancer Society reports many different situations happening throughout America. For instance in West Virginia a company accidentally released the chemical perfluorooctanoic acid into the drinking water. “The West Virginia Circuit Court approved a class-action settlement agreement that required a science panel to find out if the chemical caused disease in the community. The West Virginia Cancer Registry shared data with the panel, which found that exposure to the chemical raised a person’s risk of getting testicular and kidney cancer, but no other kinds of cancer.As a result, a medical panel was set up to monitor the health of community members.”(CDC Prevention) Policies are now in place throughout the country to prevent this type of environmental nightmare from happening somewhere else. Registries to track cancers throughout communities are being set up all of the time. A few of the others reported on their website include Kentucky tracking the areas where Arsenic and chromium are naturally occurring and there are more lung cancer rates in these areas. In Illinois polluted drinking water from a small well, in North Dakota Road Gravel dangerous and causing mesothelioma because of erionite; an asbestos-like material used to pave roads there. By further research and implementation of policies in all of our communities, the incidence of cancer can decline.
As we begin a new year, many of us are looking at ways of improving our health. The research area I found interesting on the ACS website was the Society’s “Cancer Prevention Study –II. It looks at lifestyles and how it impacts the risk of cancer for people. “Analysis of the CPS-II Nutrition Cohort showed, for instance, that people who follow the Society’s nutrition and physical activity guidelines most closely have a lower risk of death from cancer and heart disease than people who followed the guidelines least closely. A separate analysis of CPS-II data showed that people who spend more than 6 hours a day sitting are more likely to die than people who spend fewer than 3 hours sitting.” (cancer.org) They also look at how fruits and vegetables as a way to fight cancer. I find this type of research interesting; realizing that there are many valuable items in roots, herbs, and foods that can help in the prevention of cancer in conjunction with healthy lifestyles of exercise, rest, and decreasing stress.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Program of Cancer Registries (NPCR). Retrieved at www.cdc.gov/cancer/npcr/ on January 13, 2014.
cancer.org/research/researchtopreventcancer/grants-prevention-research. Retrieved, January 13, 2014.
The American Cancer Society website has numerous services for education and support for those newly diagnosed with cancer. One great resource is the website itself, there is an entire section dedicated to learning about cancer including a glossary, what causes cancer, free brochures, and a breakdown by specific type of cancer (American Cancer Society, 2014). A newly diagnosed patient usually has numerous questions about their disease and the internet can be overwhelming and offer some not so helpful advice or definitions, sending patients here can guarantee they are getting un-biased and correct information about their diagnosis. Other resources available include online support communities, offers for rides to treatment, hair loss and mastectomy products, online education classes, and a personal cancer navigator (American Cancer Society, 2014). The personal navigator is an excellent resource where patients can talk to a live person one on one with questions they have and to discuss their fears and thoughts about this new diagnosis.
There are numerous factors that are leading to increased cancer occurrences each year. ACS (2013), states that lung cancer is the most common newly diagnosed and deadly form of cancer in both sexes. Cigarette smoking is the most common cause of lung cancer, but other environmental toxins are being blamed as well (American Cancer Society, 2014). Other factors that can lead to cancer include chemicals in food, genetics, hormones, infectious agents, sunlight, weight, and physical activity (National Cancer Institute, 2014). Changes in policies and practice should help decrease cancer in the future if changes are made to hormones and other outside elements being added into the foods we eat, smoking education is increased, and the need for physical activity and a healthy weight is continuously reminded to the public. Overall, nationwide education would be the most helpful in majority of the at risk categories for cancer. The other categories would need new laws enacted to keep our foods safe and to limit our exposure to toxic environmental chemicals.
A research study that the American Cancer Society supports and funds is the Cancer Prevention Study. This study was opened to individuals aged 30- 65 with no prior history of cancer in the effort to find factors that contribute to cancer. This long-term study looks at individuals and their daily life habits as well as collecting blood samples over many years to see which of these participants ended up getting cancer throughout their life. The study is expected to go on for at least 20 years to get a broad understanding of the factors involved. This incredible research program will be immensely helpful in the future when trying to find cures for cancer, the researchers will be able to make links never made before with a population size this large and broad.
American Cancer Society. (2014). Retrieved January 12, 2014, from American Cancer Society: http://www.cancer.org/index
National Cancer Institute. (2014). Cancer Causes and Risk Factors. Retrieved January 12, 2104, from National Cancer Institute: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/causes
The American Cancer Society (ACS) is an incredible resource providing information and support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week both online and by phone. There are also local chapters throughout the country. The ACS provides general cancer information as well as specific information for many types of cancer and treatment options. Special support is given by way of online support groups with groups such as “What’s Next”, “Cancer Survivors Network”, and “Circle of Sharing”, which provides more personalized cancer information (ACS, n.d.). Online classes in coping and other tools are also available. One favorite feature of mine to refer a patient to is the “Patient Navigator Program. A patient can call and be connected to a nurse navigator at a cancer center. They can share their situation and receive support and encouragement (ACS, n.d.). The ACS also has programs to help with transportation to treatments, lodging, and links to clinical trials.
Cancer is known to have many possible causes. Genetics, exposure to tobacco, obesity, not being physically active, ultraviolet and ionizing radiation, alcohol, poor diet, and many potential environmental carcinogens all increase risk for cancer (ACS, n.d.). Environmental carcinogens can include chemotherapy, infectious agents, radiation, immune suppressing drugs, and pollution (ACS, n.d.). Conversely, the risk of developing many cancers can be decreased by not smoking, limiting alcohol consumption, eating a healthy diet, maintaining a BMI less than 25, maintaining physical exercise and by use of established screening tests (ACS, n.d.).
A specific example is the great reduction in deaths in the U.S. as the result of 50 years of anti-smoking efforts. However, tobacco use is still the largest single preventable cause of disease and death (ACS, n.d.). Continuing to raise taxes on tobacco, making resources for quitting available to all, and promoting only smoke-free environments will help to further the decline in cancer rates. The ACS works in collaboration with national and international investigators in its “Tobacco Control Research to Prevent Cancer” (ACS, n.d.). This research focuses international tobacco control and the economics of tobacco control. This research will help provide data for tobacco control in low and middle income countries, thus helping to promote a decrease in tobacco use and related cancers (ACS, n.d.).
American Cancer Society. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.cancer.org/index
1. Imagine that a family friend or colleague has just been diagnosed with cancer. Explain how the American Cancer Society might provide education and support. What ACS services would you recommend and why?
If I have loved ones or friends who were diagnosed with cancer, I will help them out with the best possible resources and help them to overcome their critical condition. I will always refer to them to the American Cancer Society (ACS) which provides a lot of information and services for people who need help. ACS has information about how to find the best doctors and hospital around them in their town. I would try to find the best doctor and health care team to treat my friend. When newly diagnosed, cancer is overwhelming, and they usually have a lot of questions and someone has to be for them both emotional and psychological for the first couple of months. Once you someone has learned they have cancer, the next step is to make sure they get the best possible medical care and treatment. Choosing your doctor and treatment center is one of the most important decisions you will make (ACS, 2012). They can always ask the primary doctor for choices for whom they are recommending. Knowledge regarding the illness can help the patient and family to become better familiar with their disease process and treatment option.
The American Cancer Society provides a lot of information about how to find doctors and treatment centers. The Commission on Cancer (CoC), a program of the American College of Surgeons, approves hospitals or facilities that have committed to provide the best in cancer diagnosis and treatment (ACS, 2012). ACS has provided online community support groups such as What Next, Circle of Sharing and Cancer Survivors Network. Sharing patient’s feelings, concerns and thoughts with support groups help them to gain positive thinking and helps them to fight and cope with disease process. Our Road to Recovery program provides rides to patients who have no way to get to their cancer treatment.
2. According to statistics published by the American Cancer Society, there will be an estimated 1.5 million new cancer cases diagnosed each year over the next decade. What factors contribute to the yearly incidence and mortality rates of various cancers in Americans? What changes in policy and practice are most likely to affect these figures over time?
There are a lot of predisposing causes for cancer such as genetic factors, lifestyle factors, diet, physical activity, certain types of infections, environmental exposures to different types of chemicals, and radiation. Exposure to sunlight is a major risk factor for skin cancer and sexual exposure to human papilloma virus can cause cervical cancer (Copstead& Banasik, 2012). Many of these risk factors can be avoided other than family history. Some types of cancer run in certain families, but most cancers are not clearly linked to the genes we inherit from our parents. This kind of cancer cannot be avoided because the kind of gene is in your blood. Tobacco usage is one of the main causes for lung cancer. Tobacco is also the main cause for mouth, throat, larynx, stomach and kidney cancer. Second hand smokers also face the same problem that real smokers do because they also inhale almost the same amount of nicotine. Smokeless tobacco also cause for different types of cancer. Obesity, sedentary life and lack of exercise can cause different type of cancer. People who eat high fat diets can develop colon, uterus, breast, and prostate cancer. Skin cancer is another main problem in United States. According to CDC report 61,061 people in the United States were diagnosed with melanomas of the skin, including 35,248 men and 25,813 women (CDC, 2012).
Having a healthy diet plan by increasing the intake of fibers (vegetables, fruits), vitamins, and minerals can lower the risk of different types of cancer. Maintaining a healthy weight and being physically active may help reduce cancer risk. Avoiding excessive exposure to sunlight or using proper protective skin lotion can avoid risk of skin cancer. Certain vaccination can avoid cervical and liver cancer such as HPV and Hepatitis B vaccination. Early detection and treatment can avoid the certain type of cancers and prevent them. So it is very important to keep up with routine checkup, medical screening, like mammogram, pap smears test and colonoscopy. People who have family history of any kind of cancer may need to have their screening done more often than others (Medicine Net, 2012).
3. Select a research program from among those funded by the American Cancer Society. Describe the program and discuss what impact the research will have on the prevention or treatment of cancer.
The ACS has a big project to protect American life by providing the research study to prevent cancer. Research is at the heart of the American Cancer Society’s mission. The Society has been funding cancer prevention research since 1946 as we relentlessly pursue the answers that help us understand how to prevent all cancer types. In this study, participants are doing the initial assessment and they are monitored for a long time. After many years, they conduct a study about which of these participants is getting cancer in their life. From that study, researchers can find out what causes cancerous cells and how we can prevent cancer. The American Cancer Society was one of the first organizations to recognize the importance of behavioral and psychosocial research in the prevention and control of cancer, and to develop a specific program for funding extramural research in this area, including research into the impact of cancer on the family, the quality of life, health behaviors, and health care of cancer survivors, smoking cessation, and other issues and problems of cancer (ACS, 2012).
· “Research to Prevent Cancer.” Cancer Prevention Research. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Jan. 2014.
· Siegel, R., Zou, Z., Ma, J., & Jemal, A. (n.d.). Cancer statistics, 2014. Wiley Online Library. Retrieved January 14, 2014, from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.3322/caac.21208/full
· Skin Cancer Statistics. (2013, October 23). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved January 13, 2014, from http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/statistics/
The big “C” is something no one should ever have to experience during their lifetime, be it personally, a family member, or colleague. Unfortunately, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS), “more than 1,000,000 people” are diagnosed each year. Thus it is almost inevitable that someone close to you will be affected. I always thought cancer happened to “other people” yet in the past 3 years, I have already lost 3 extended family members to this disease, have another 2 extended family members recently diagnosed, and a close family friend who has been sick for some time. For people just diagnosed, this can be a very traumatic time. They may fearful of their prognosis, worry about the cost of treatments, and just simply not have emotional ability to cope, or know where to turn for answers and comfort. “The current healthcare system can present many barriers to newly diagnosed individuals and leaves many to face a system that is often fragmented and disempowering to the patient” (Esparza, 2013).
The ACS is dedicated towards working to end those suffering from this dreaded disease. I would direct my colleague towards the ACS because aside from supporting research in the U.S., “the ACS is committed to education of…the cancer patient about healthful habits and good treatment” (Brawley, 2011) and provides patient services, such as transportation, emotional support, and even camps for children with cancer. The ACS helps one understand the various treatment decisions involved, ways to cope with side effects, handling of financial matters, caregiving, and making healthy lifestyle choices during remission…all at no charge (ACS, 2014). I would recommend the “Online Communities and Support” service. Through this service, people just diagnosed have the ability to connect with others whom have experienced a similar situation, and can be a great source of support and comfort. The Patient Navigator Program is another great service provided by ACS. These “navigators are trained to meet with patients, identify barriers to care, and work with institutional health care teams to support patients” (Esparza, 2013).
As per the ACS, Cancer is rated as the second largest leading cause of death in the United States, “accounting for almost 1 in 4 deaths” (Smith & Maurer, 2013 ). The primary factors that contribute to the yearly incidence and mortality rates of various cancers in Americans are due in part to unhealthy lifestyle choices. The ACS claims that over 50% of cancer related deaths could be prevented through proper health promotion measures, such as maintaining a healthy body weight, being active, eating the right foods, not smoking, and early detection and screening (ACS, 2014). Changes in policy, such as the rising cost of healthcare and those whom are under/ uninsured, is an additional factor that will most likely increase the figures over time is. Data released by The National Cancer Database (sponsored by the ACS) which is comprised of 70% of cancer patients treated in the U.S. “confirms that the uninsured are more likely to be diagnosed with advanced-stage, poor-prognosis disease.” Basically, the people who do not have private health insurance are twice, three, and four times as likely to be diagnosed with advanced-stage breast cancer, advanced oropharyngeal cancer, and advanced laryngeal cancer, in that order (Brawley, 2011).
The ACS says not to underestimate the power of prevention (Smith and Maurer, 2013). Through grants in Prevention Research, emphasis is being placed on prevention of illness, as opposed to the treatment of illness (Brawley, 2011). With the breakthrough of the human papillomavirus vaccine, the incidence of cervical cancer can be prevented. African- American and Latina women are most likely to die from this disease, yet inner-city, low- socioeconomic status African American and Latina teens have lowest rates of HPV vaccination, mainly because their physician fail to prescribe it . Rebecca Perkins, an ACS grantee, through research, will identify the reasons why the physicians are not offering the HPV vaccine and will then “then implement an educational program for healthcare providers to increase the number of underserved, minority girls receiving the HPV vaccine”, which will hopefully further decrease incidence of this disease among these racial groups (ACS, 2014).
American Cancer Society, Inc. (n.d). Retrieved on January 14, 2014 from,
American Cancer Society (2014). Retrieved on January 14, 2014 from,
Brawley, O. (2011). Retrieved on January 14, 2014 from, The American Cancer Society and the American Health Care System. The Oncologist, 16(7), 920-925. doi:10.1634/theoncologist.2011-0074.
Esparza, A. (2013). Patient Navigation and the American Cancer Society. Seminars In Oncology Nursing, 29(2), 91-96. doi:10.1016/j.soncn.2013.02.004. Retrieved on January 14, 2014 from,
Smith C.M. and Maurer, F.A. (2013) Community/Public Health Nursing Practice, 5th Edition. Saunders, VitalBook file.
The American Cancer Society is working to celebrate more birthdays and has a very good educational program called ‘I Can Cope’ for people with cancer, their families and friends. The program includes physicians, nurses, social workers and other health care professionals who discuss issues related to cancer.A support group designed to educate and provide emotional support for patients and their families. The ‘Dialogue’ program is an ongoing support group designed to help patients, their families and friends better understand and learn to live with cancer. ‘Look Good, Feel Better’ is a program that combines licensed cosmetologists and oncology health professionals provide information to women undergoing cancer treatment to help them look great and feel more comfortable with the changes in their appearance. First of all, I will recommend ‘I Can Cope,’ and ‘Dialogue,’ programs because it will give the patient emotional support and information that she or he needs the most.
Major factors contribute to the yearly incidence and mortality rates of various cancers in Americans are smoking, obesity, family history, age, and exposure to carcinogens. Changes in life style are an important key point in reducing cancer. Women who breast feed they have less chances of getting breast cancer. More than 30% of cancer deaths could be prevented by avoiding risk factors like tobacco use, alcohol use, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity. The government should have strict laws to save people from second hand smoking. Changes in policy and practice should focus on prevention and early detection. While it is important for state and government agencies to focus on preventive education and health services availability, it is important to remember that individuals still have the right to make their own healthcare choices.
There are some new lab tests introduced by researchers. One of them is to detect the circulating tumor cells. Researchers have found that in many women with breast cancer, cells may break away from the tumor and enter the blood. These circulating tumor cells can be detected with sensitive lab tests. Although these tests can help predict which patients may go on to have their cancer come back, it isn’t clear that the use of these tests will help patients live longer. They potentially may be useful in patients with advanced breast cancer to help tell if treatments are working.
American Cancer Society. (2014). Patient/Family Education and Support Programs. Retrieved fromhttp://www.cancer.org/myacs/highplainshawaiipacific/programsandservices/patient-family-education-and-support-programs
American Cancer Society. (2013). What`s new in breast cancer research and treatment? Retrieved fromhttp://www.cancer.org/cancer/breastcancer/detailedguide/breast-cancer-new-research
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