Since 1993, nearly 4 million walkers across the country have raised more than $280 million through Making Strides events to help fight breast cancer. Last year alone, dedicated supporters like you raised more than $50 million nationwide to help the American Cancer Society continue fighting breast cancer and offer hope to people facing the disease.
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, 42 have gone on to win the Nobel Prize. In fact, the Society invests more in breast cancer research grants every year than we raise through our Making Strides events. 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 American Cancer Society research program and to view our "Research Then and Now" video, 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 screening guidelines, physician education, and engage in public awareness efforts to increase awareness about the importance of yearly mammograms. 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.
At www.cancer.org/MammogramReminder, you and the women you love can sign up to receive a free email mammogram reminder that will remind you to schedule your yearly mammogram in the month of your choice. The American Cancer Society recommends that all women 40 and older get a mammogram every year, in addition to a clinical breast exam by their doctor or nurse as part of their regular health checkups. We know that knowledge is power, and we won’t 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 … and for that reason, we have been the most trusted resource for cancer information for nearly a century. More than a million people call our toll-free number every year at 1-800-ACS-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.
Right now, cancer can't be defeated in doctors' offices alone. We need elected officials to fully fund prevention and early detection screenings for all eligible women. 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.
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 www.acscan.org/makingstrides.
- We have successfully lobbied Congress for millions of dollars for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 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 are currently working to increase funding for the program so it can serve more eligible women.
- 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 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.
Having cancer is hard. Finding help shouldn’t be. That’s why 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 us at 1-800-ACS-2345 anytime, day or night, or visit us at http://www.cancer.org/ to find out what resources are available in your community.
- Transportation assistance to and from treatment
- Free lodging for those having to travel far for treatment
- Free wigs and assistance with treatment-related physical side effects
- Emotional support programs that connect newly diagnosed breast cancer patients with survivors
- Cancer education classes
- An online support network
We are committed to connecting people facing cancer with the information, day-to-day help, and emotional support they need in the communities where they live to help them through every step of their cancer journey and to beat the disease.
To learn more about the American Cancer Society programs and services, visit http://www.cancer.org/.