American Cancer Society
American Cancer Society mission statement
The American Cancer Society is the nationwide, community-based, voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from cancer, through research, education, advocacy, and service.
International mission statement
The American Cancer Society's international mission concentrates on capacity building in developing cancer societies and on collaboration with other cancer-related organizations throughout the world in carrying out shared strategic directions.
Who We Are
Together with our millions of supporters, the American Cancer Society (ACS) saves lives and creates a world with less cancer and more birthdays by helping people stay well, helping people get well, by finding cures, and by fighting back.
The American Cancer Society is a nationwide, community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, the ACS has 12 chartered Divisions, more than 900 local offices nationwide, and a presence in more than 5,100 communities.
Facts about ACS
About Your American Cancer Society
As the largest voluntary health organization in the United States, the American Cancer Society is passionately committed to saving lives from cancer. We’re working to create a world with less cancer and more birthdays – a world where cancer never steals another year from anyone’s life. We combine our relentless passion with the wisdom of nearly a century of experience to make this vision a reality, and we get results. We save lives by helping people stay well, helping people get well, by finding cures, and fighting back. Thanks in part to this work, nearly 12 million cancer survivors and countless others who have avoided the disease will celebrate a birthday this year.
How the American Cancer Society is Organized
The American Cancer Society, Inc. comprises the National Home Office and 12 chartered, geographic Division affiliates throughout the United States and has a presence in most communities.
The National American Cancer Society
The National Home Office is responsible for overall planning, development, and implementation of the Society’s information and support programs and services to help people through every phase of a cancer experience. The National Home Office also administers the Society’s groundbreaking research programs, and provides technical support and materials to Divisions and local offices. The National Board of Directors oversees the National Home Office and includes medical and lay volunteers from across the country.
The 12 Divisions
The Society’s 12 Divisions are governed by Division Boards of Directors composed of medical and lay volunteers throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. These Divisions are responsible for awareness efforts, fundraising and public information events, and program delivery in their geographic regions.
With more than 900 local offices nationwide, and a presence in more than 5,100 communities, we’re fighting for every birthday threatened by cancer in every community. Our local offices are organized to deliver lifesaving programs and services at the community level. Offices are strategically placed around the country in an effort to maximize the impact of our efforts, and be as efficient as possible with the money donated to the Society to fight cancer and save lives. While the American Cancer Society does not have a physical office in every community, its staff and volunteers are available in every community and are ready to help people with cancer and their families and get them the resources they need.
As a global grassroots force, the Society relies on the strength of more than three million dedicated volunteers. From the boards of directors who set strategy and policy to members of the community who organize special events and education programs, Society volunteers, supported by professional staff, drive every part of our mission. The Society’s vast array of volunteer opportunities empowers people from every community to play a role in saving lives, while they fulfill their own.
How the American Cancer Society is saving lives
Together with our millions of supporters, the American Cancer Society is saving lives by helping people stay well, helping people get well, by finding cures and by fighting back. No other cancer fighting organization has such a comprehensive mission.
Stay well: We help you take steps to prevent cancer or detect it at its earliest, most treatable stage.
- We help people eat right, get active, quit smoking and get screenings.
- We develop guidelines for recommended cancer screenings and nutrition and physical activity, so people know what tests they need to find cancer early and how to prevent the disease.
- On our Web site, cancer.org, individuals can create a personalized health action plan to discuss with their doctor that shows which cancer screening tests are right for them, as well as healthy lifestyle choices to consider.
- Through the Quit For Life® Program, brought to you by the American Cancer Society and Alere Wellbeing, we help people to quit smoking by providing them with the resources they need to make a quit attempt and stay tobacco-free.
Get well: We’re in your corner around the clock to guide you through a cancer experience.
We know that every cancer patient is a fighter – and we’re in the ring with you through every round.
- Whether you have questions about cancer, need practical solutions to daily problems like finding a ride to treatment, or just want support from someone who has been through it all before, we’ve got answers around the clock.
- Our phone lines, at 1-800-227-2345, are open every minute of every day and night to help connect people with the answers they need. Each year, we provide information, help, and support to the nearly one million individuals who call us. Our cancer.org Web site, which serves more than 23 million visitors each year, offers access to the latest information and news on cancer and helps people find programs and services in their area.
- Through the American Cancer Society Clinical Trials Matching Service, we connect patients with more than 64,000 different treatment options. We offer an online support community for cancer survivors and caregivers that has brought together more than 93,000 people since 2000. Through our American Cancer Society Hope Lodge® Network, we provide cancer patients and their families with a free place to stay when they have to travel far from home for treatment. In 2009, we provided 220,000 nights of free lodging to nearly 50,000 patients and caregivers, saving them more than $19 million in lodging expenses. With 140 sites at hospitals and treatment centers across the country, the American Cancer Society Patient Navigator Program provides one-on-one guidance to people facing cancer through every step of their journey. In 2009, the program served more than 67,000 people and fulfilled more than 119,000 requests for services.
Find cures: We’re getting results by investing in research that helps us understand cancer’s causes, determine how best to prevent it, and discover new ways to cure it.
- As the largest non-governmental funder of cancer research, having spent more than $3.6 billion on cancer research since 1946, we’ve played a role in nearly every cancer breakthrough in recent history.
- Our own research and that of our funded researchers helped to confirm the link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer, established the link between obesity and multiple cancers, developed drugs to treat leukemia and advanced breast cancer, and showed that mammography is the most effective way to detect breast cancer.
- We fund beginning researchers with cutting-edge ideas early in their careers – 46 of whom have gone on to win the Nobel Prize, the highest accolade in scientific achievement.
Fight back: We help pass laws that defeat cancer and rally communities to join the fight.
- At its core, the American Cancer Society is a grassroots force of three million passionate volunteers who tirelessly seek to save lives from cancer. We work with lawmakers everywhere to make this world a healthier place to live and we rally communities around the globe to join our fight.
- Whether it’s passing smoke-free laws, increasing funding for cancer research, improving access to quality health care or inspiring communities to take up the fight, we fight on all fronts, because the lessons we learn from one battlefield can mean victory on another. Thanks in part to the efforts of the Society and our nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action NetworkSM (ACS CAN), nearly 70 percent of the U.S. population is now covered by a smoke-free law. Together with ACS CAN, we have helped pass state laws ensuring that people have access to and coverage for lifesaving cancer screenings and treatments. We have helped more than three million uninsured, underinsured and low-income women get breast and cervical cancer screening tests since 1991, and, along with ACS CAN, we have successfully fought for legislation protecting this care.
- One in every 100 Americans participates in one of the nearly 5,100 American Cancer Society Relay For Life® events, which comprise the world’s largest movement to end cancer. The American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer® event unites 600,000 walkers and more than 140 communities to help save lives from breast cancer and provide hope to people facing the disease. The new DetermiNation program collaborates with more than 85 marathons, triathlons, cycling, and other endurance events around the country, allowing athletes to dedicate their training and participation to the fight against cancer.
The American Cancer Society invests hundreds of millions of dollars every year to fight cancer on a global scale and has earned the public trust by demonstrating a history of careful and proven financial stewardship. We have nearly a century of experience being a responsible, responsive, and independent organization – in fact, less than one percent of our revenues come from the government. This means that we raise nearly all of our money through private individual donations, which helps to ensure our independence.
When individuals are seeking to make a charitable contribution, we know that there are many choices, and we encourage people to look at how effectively the organization delivers on its mission, in addition to how efficiently it operates. Leading groups that evaluate charities, including Charity Navigator, have also stated that examining how charities work to meet their mission is critical information to have when determining where to make a donation. Some of these groups have begun incorporating effectiveness in making mission progress into their method for evaluating charities. The Charity Navigator profile of the American Cancer Society can be found at http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=6495. The American Cancer Society makes this information available on an annual basis in our Strategic Plan Progress Report, which is published online here.
Each of the 12 chartered Divisions has financial oversight responsibilities and provides financial information to the public. The latest data measuring the Society’s performance against its stated goals and the latest financial information on the Society are always available on our Web site here. We have been awarded the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance national charity seal since 2005 and meet or exceed standards set by groups that evaluate charities. The public can count on the Society reporting this type of financial information every year.
Contact Email: 1-800-227-2345
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