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Advocacy (ACS CAN)

About ACS CAN

Today, nearly 60% of all Americans live in a smoke-free community.
- But millions are still forced to work in smoke-filled workplaces.

Today, advances in cancer prevention, early detection, treatment, and care mean that we are winning the war on cancer.
- But Congress has frozen or cut funding for cancer research and programs for the past five years.

Today, women have better access to mammograms.
- But millions of women, men, and children are uninsured and millions more are underinsured, with little or no access to lifesaving screenings and treatments.

What is the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN)?

ACS CAN is the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society. As the nation’s leading cancer advocacy organization, ACS CAN is working every day to make cancer issues a national priority.

Many of the most important decisions about cancer are made outside of your doctor’s office. Instead, they are made by your state legislature, in Congress, and in the White House. ACS CAN empowers regular people to be part of the growing national movement that is fighting back against cancer.

ACS CAN is holding lawmakers accountable for their words and their actions. We demand that our leaders not only talk about fighting cancer but also take real steps toward decreasing the number of people suffering and dying from cancer.

ACS CAN Volunteers Are Winning

ACS CAN campaigns led by volunteers and staff across the nation have:

  • Led to 25 states as well as Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico to go smoke-free
  • Stopped legislation that would have eliminated guaranteed insurance coverage of mammograms
  • Passed state laws and referendums that are proven to help prevent children from starting or continuing to smoke
  • Launched a nationwide access to care initiative

ACS CAN Is Winning the War on Cancer

ACS CAN will defeat cancer by:

  • Funding aggressive grassroots, lobbying, and media campaigns to make every state smoke-free and to increase tobacco taxes and funding for cancer research. We advocate for early detection programs such as mammograms and colon cancer screenings
  • Educating the public and media directly by supporting sophisticated training programs for volunteers to strengthen our movement and ensure that our voices are truly heard in the halls of government
  • Hosting debates and producing voter guides, candidate forums, and advertising to get every lawmaker and candidate on the record in support of laws and policies that help people fight cancer and save lives

These efforts produce policies, laws, and regulations that further the overall mission of both the American Cancer Society and ACS CAN to eliminate cancer as a major health problem.

Why did the American Cancer Society form ACS CAN?

Previously, the American Cancer Society had one hand tied behind its back in the advocacy arena. By becoming a member of ACS CAN, advocates can use both hands to fight back against cancer.

  • ACS CAN allows for increased lobbying of local, state, and federal officials.
  • ACS CAN allows cancer advocates to hold lawmakers accountable for their votes and actions through voter guides and town hall meetings.
  • ACS CAN provides legal protection to the Society. By forming ACS CAN, the Society is able to encourage additional advocacy efforts without jeopardizing its tax-deductible status.

For more information, visit the ACS CAN site!