Diseases Cancer

About the American Cancer Society

Introduction

The American Cancer Society is a voluntary health organization headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. It has a nationwide presence in the US and has 12 chartered offices. These offices are staffed by laymen, medical practitioners, and volunteers. Present in most communities, it aims to help cancer patients and victims get through the disease, keep well and fight back the disease. The Society also helps in looking for cures to the affliction.

History

The Society was founded in 1913 in New York by a group of doctors and businessmen. Its original name was the American Society for the Control of Cancer. It changed its name in 1945 to the American Cancer Society.

Dedicated mainly to address issues dealing with cancer, this society cancer funds a lot of researches in seeking cures and treatments for the disease. It also raises cancer awareness through information campaigns and events.

Features

It organized 2 well-known projects: Relay for Life and the Great American Smokeout. Relay for Life is the fund-raising arm of the Society. Started by Dr. Gordon Klatt in 1985 as a way to remember his patients, this event spread to over 5,000 communities throughout the US. The money is used to fund cancer research projects initiated by the society cancer. Those participating in the Relay see it as a way to remember those who perished with the disease, honor the survivors, and at the same time raise money for the cause.

The first Great American Smokeout was organized by the Society on November 16, 1977 in San Francisco. It urged smoking Americans to give up tobacco smoking for at least 24 hours, with the hope to leave the habit for good.

Despite the good work of the Society, there were several controversial issues surrounding the organization. One involves the position of the society cancer on PSA levels as a screening process for detecting prostate cancer. It states that the diagnostic screening tools are not adequate to detect the cancer and that there should be updated tools available.

Another issue is the position of the society cancer to medical marijuana. While cannabis is approved for medical use in 16 states plus DC, the organization had a different view to this issue contradicting studies that were already conducted on the subject of the palliative effects of marijuana on cancer patients.

There is no doubt the society cancer receives a lot of donations from the public and other sectors such as businesses and corporate giants. However, it does not accept all donations and it even refused grants offered by atheist organizations such as Foundation Beyond Belief (Foundation Beyond Belief website). The response of the Society was that the “National Team” of said entity was made up of corporate sponsors and that there were no non profit or advocacy groups included.

Despite these issues, the society cancer remains one of the most popular voluntary health organizations in the country, attracting funds and supporters from the entire nation. The website itself is full of useful resource links where one can draw support for cancer. It is not limited to the American audience as people from outside the US can also avail of its resources. There is even a link for international visitors.

Tips and Comments

Register to be part of the ACS. You don't have to be a cancer patient or a family member of a cancer sufferer to be part of the organization. It gives you a better way to interact with features of the society cancer and its members. You can also receive the info that you need and learn of events and cancer news in your area.

By Marie, published at 02/16/2012
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