Today, the American Cancer Society released their annual report citing improved survival rates among cancer patients showing a decline in the number of deaths from cancer by 1.8% in men and 1.6% in women. We congratulate the American Cancer Society for their work and for the resources and services that they provide to cancer patients.
The increase in survival cited in the report is the result of decades of research, education, screening and services provided by hundreds of organizations across the country, including universities, cancer centers, providers, professional societies and advocacy organizations. For the past twenty-six years, the Prevent Cancer Foundation has been working alongside colleagues from these communities focusing our contributions to this effort on prevention, through research, education, community outreach and advocacy.
The increase in survival can be attributed a combination of factors, including detecting cancers like colon, breast and prostate in earlier, more treatable stages and also a decline in lung cancer due to decreased tobacco use. Prevent Cancer takes pride in the knowledge that its continuing work is making a difference. We are educating the public about the importance of screening and early detection, through unique national efforts including National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Campaign, our Super Colon exhibit, Screening Saves, Dialogue for Action Conference Series, Save Your Skin, and Project Early Awareness.
We have improved access to screening services for underserved communities through programs including our mobile mammography van, Celebremos La Vida, community grants and State Fair health education and screening booths. We have improved policy through advocacy for private and public insurance coverage of colonoscopy, continued coverage of mammography, tobacco cessation and regulation, and funding for critical cancer research and control initiatives. And we have contributed to the body of research in cancer prevention through our research grants to young investigators around the country.
But greater strides need to be made. The National Cancer Institute estimates that 571,950 men and women died from cancer in 2011 and the incidence of liver, skin, head and neck cancer is on the rise. Taking steps to reduce your risk for cancer through tobacco cessation, healthy lifestyle, screening and sun safety will contribute to helping move the needle of reduced incidence.
To learn more about the Prevent Cancer Foundation’s work and our vision to “Stop Cancer Before It Starts!” view our latest annual report.