The American Cancer Society has been a major force in building community awareness and raising money for crucial medical research. Through the years, the American Cancer Society has been a philanthropic organization which has revolutionized the public perception of cancer as a disease. Meghana Rajadhyaksha, a medical sales professional, examines the history and purpose of the American Cancer Society and offers suggestions for people who are interested in helping with its mission.
Since 1938, the Society has disseminated more than $4 billion in research funding. Since the Society has been in operation for more than a hundred years, it has witnessed incredible strides in the treatment of cancer. When the organization got its start in 1913, cancer was considered a death sentence since there were very few effective treatments. People did not often talk about cancer, as it was considered a highly sensitive subject.
In 1913, 10 doctors and 5 business professionals came together to form the American Society for the Control of Cancer. The initial goal of the society was to foster a public conversation about the dangers of cancer. They sought to break the stigma experienced by patients and to bring hope to those who had been diagnosed.
The doctors and business professionals who founded the Society spent a great deal of time spreading the newest medical knowledge about cancer. They wrote many articles for journals and magazines which explored the different types of cancer and examined some of the new treatments which were under development. The Society also worked to recruit physicians who would spread their mission to the public.
In 1928, the Society held a poster contest to create its business logo. The Sword of Hope was chosen as the Society’s trademark. The Sword featured the twin serpent design which symbolizes medical care. This symbol is still a part of the Society’s logo, representing the fighting spirit which is needed to combat the spread of cancer.
One of the most important developments in the history of the American Cancer Society was the creation of the Women’s Field Army. This well-organized group went out among the public and spread their awareness message. They also engaged in fundraising. The Army’s fundraising was far more effective than the previous efforts by the Society. By 1938, there were over 150,000 people involved in cancer control and awareness. This amazing rise is due to the tireless work of the Women’s Field Army.
In 1946, the Society began its research program into the causes of and treatments for cancer. Using this research money, doctors began to make breakthroughs in the treatment of this deadly disease. The Society funded research into early chemotherapy, having an instrumental part in the treatment of children with acute leukemia. These exciting developments would not have been possible without the financial support of the American Cancer Society.
Through the years, there were many more innovations in cancer care. The American Cancer Society was the first to recognize that there was a serious link between smoking and cancer. It was instrumental in creating the famous report that found that the tobacco industry had covered up the known risk factors for cancer when creating their marketing campaigns.
The Society also worked to ensure that people understood the other risk factors for cancer. The detection and treatment of dozens of types of cancer were supported by the Society, including cervical cancer, leukemia, and breast cancer.
Chemotherapy and surgery became two important methods for cancer control. The Society helped to fund the development of essential drugs like interferon and aminopterin.
Currently, the American Cancer Society is focused on genetic and lifestyle risks for cancer. Current research is beginning to help doctors understand how cancer risks differ among diverse populations in the world. Treatment of many different types of cancer, such as breast cancer, liver cancer, and lung cancer, receives special attention.
The Society has a particular focus on preventative lifestyle changes, which may help people avoid developing cancer as they grow older. Obesity and inactivity have been associated with a higher risk of many types of cancer. The Society has a goal of helping people understand their risk and how they can lessen it.
The American Cancer Society has many initiatives which need volunteers and financial support. Their best-known fundraising vehicle is the Relay for Life, a daylong event held in many areas of the country. Cancer survivors and supporters take donations to participate in the relay, and those who have been lost to cancer are memorialized.
Meghana Rajadhyaksha underscores the importance of the American Cancer Society in helping to foster good health around the world. People with financial resources should contribute, and people who do not have the resources can donate time. This will help to curb the spread of cancer.