American Cancer Society
AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY
The American Cancer Society (ACS) is a nationwide community-based health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem. Established in 1913 by a handful of physicians and business people in New York City, the ACS has grown into one of the world's largest voluntary health organizations. It has a staff of 6,000, over 2 million volunteers, and receives financial donations from over 10 million people annually. With assets of over $1 billion and an income of approximately $700 million per year, the society has established ambitious goals for controlling cancer incidence and mortality and improving the quality of life for survivors and their families.
While the ACS is recognized for its unique research programs, which have provided critical support for thirty Nobel laureates, it is also the major nonprofit sponsor of cancer control programs, advocacy efforts, and cancer information delivery systems. The American Cancer Society created a "cancer-conscious public," pioneering research and public programs that reduce mortality through prevention and early detection. ACS created the National Cancer Institute in the 1930s and lobbied for the renewal of the National Cancer Act in 1971. Currently, the ACS operates a 24-hour cancer information telephone line and publishes the widely used "Cancer Facts and Figures."
The ACS consists of a national organization, seventeen individually chartered and incorporated divisions, and local offices in 3,000 communities throughout the country. The national organization is governed by a 267-member volunteer assembly and a 43-member board of directors. The primary staff officer, the chief executive officer, works with the other officers and with volunteer and staff leaders to develop and implement methodologies designed to implement the society's mission.
JOHN R. SEFFRIN
(SEE ALSO: Cancer)
Ross, W. (1987). Crusade: The Official History of the American Cancer Society. New York: Arbor House.