How Your Dollars Make a Difference


Since 1993, 3.5 million walkers across the country have raised more than $230 million through Making Strides events to help fight breast cancer. Last year alone, the efforts of dedicated supporters like you raised more than $40 million nationwide to enable the American Cancer Society to continue fighting breast cancer every day.

So, how does the money you raise help fight breast cancer? In so many ways! The donations you collect enable the American Cancer Society to fund cutting-edge research, provide up-to-date cancer information and education, advocate for all people to have access to critical cancer screenings and follow-up care, and offer free programs to improve the quality of life for patients and their families.

As the nation’s largest source of private, nonprofit cancer research funds, the American Cancer Society has distributed more than $3.1 billion to researchers since 1946. We take pride in funding promising researchers early in their careers, and our track record is something we share with pride. Of the researchers chosen for Society funding throughout the years, 40 have gone on to win the Nobel Prize. The Society has invested more in breast cancer research grants over time than any other voluntary public health organization -- $322.7 million since 1972! Generous donations have allowed the American Cancer Society to be involved in many of the major breast cancer research breakthroughs of the century:

  • Lumpectomy and radiation for treatment of breast cancer 
  • Mammography to screen for breast cancer 
  • Use of tamoxifen to reduce risk of second or first breast cancer 
  • Development of monoclonal antibodies to treat breast cancer (Herceptin) and lymphoma (Rituxan)  
  • Discovery of genes for inherited breast and colon cancer
  • Knowledge that genetics, diet, lack of exercise, and alcohol abuse can increase a person's cancer risk 
  • Discovery of cancer-causing oncogenes and tumor-suppressor genes

While the Society spends more on breast cancer than on any other solid tumor site, many of the research grants we support may have relevance to many kinds of cancers. Currently, breast cancer research projects are underway at institutions across the country, thanks in large part to the funds raised by Making Strides Against Breast Cancer participants. With your continued help, we can fund more critical research projects, one of which could result in a breakthrough that would lead to fewer diagnoses and lower the number of deaths from breast cancer each year.

To learn more about the American Cancer Society’s research program and to view our Research Then and Now video, 2007 MSABC Icon (15pxl)click here.

At the American Cancer Society, we know that detecting breast cancer early, at its most treatable stage, can mean the difference between life and death. So, we provide guidelines, physician education, and public awareness efforts to increase screening for all women. The good news is that breast cancer incidence and death rates are declining, which means more people are beating this disease thanks to early detection through mammograms and improved treatment methods. However, recent studies show that mammography rates are declining.

We recently launched a free email mammogram reminder system that allows women to sign-up online at 2007 MSABC Icon (15pxl) to receive an email reminding them to schedule their yearly mammogram on the day and in the month of their choice. The American Cancer Society recommends that all women 40 and older get a mammogram every year, in addition to a breast exam by their doctor or nurse as part of their regular health check-ups. We know that knowledge is power, and we will not stop until every woman understands how they can take control of their breast health.

The American Cancer Society provides information and education 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. We have been the most trusted resource for cancer information for nearly a century. More than one million people call our toll-free number every year at 1-800-ACS(227)-2345, and we have more than 20 million visitors to our Web site annually. Because cancer impacts people of every race and nationality, the American Cancer Society provides educational materials in a variety of languages.

Breast cancer is not just a health issue it is a political one as well. The American Cancer Society works hard to keep breast cancer funding a top priority with our nation’s lawmakers. Thanks in large part to donations from Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and in partnership with our sister advocacy organization, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action NetworkSM (ACS CAN), our advocacy efforts are affecting many of the laws that govern what options are available for people battling cancer.

  • We have successfully lobbied Congress for millions of dollars for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, which helps low-income, uninsured, and underinsured women get access to critical screenings and follow-up treatment.  
  • We actively support legislation that would improve the quality of treatment for breast cancer patients and the quality of life for breast cancer survivors.
  • We mobilized 100,000 volunteers just like you to defeat legislation that would have allowed insurance companies to reduce cancer screening coverage.
  • We are addressing disparities by promoting important public policies that provide access to quality health care and screening for all women.

Currently, the Society is working to help reauthorize and increase funding for the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program. For fiscal year 2007, ACS CAN is lobbying Congress to support legislation that would reauthorize the program to give it greater flexibility to reach more women in need and increase funding by $48 million, so the program could serve at least an additional 130,000 women.  

Everyone has the potential to get cancer … and the potential to help fight it. For more information about how you can use your voice to help us fight breast cancer, call us at 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit 2007 MSABC Icon (15pxl)

Patient Service Programs
The American Cancer Society offers free programs and services in more than 3,400 communities across the country to ensure that cancer patients and their loved ones do not have to face cancer alone. Below are some of the support services we provide. Call or visit us online to find out what resources are available in your community.

  • Transportation assistance to and from treatment
  • Free lodging for those having to travel long distances for treatment 
  • Free wigs and assistance with treatment-related physical side effects
  • Emotional support programs that connect newly diagnosed patients with cancer survivors
  • Cancer education classes
  • An online support network

We know that having cancer is hard, but finding help shouldn’t be. That’s why we are committed to connecting cancer patients to the resources they need in the communities where they live to help them improve their quality of life and beat their disease.

To learn more about the American Cancer Society’s programs and services, visit 2007 MSABC Icon (15pxl)