Public Policy Resources

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As a recognized expert in cancer health policy, ACS CAN develops reports, white papers, testimony, fact sheets, regulatory comment letters and public policy on a wide range of issues related to preventing cancer and improving the health care system for persons with cancer and survivors.  We encourage you to use this resource to learn more about our issue priorities and policy work. If you can't find something you need, you may contact us by using our contact form and selecting Policy Resources from the drop-down menu.

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Patient Quality of Life

ACS CAN advocates for policies that improve the lives of cancer patients by making treatment of their pain and other symptoms and coordination of their care standard protocol throughout their treatment for cancer, starting at the point of diagnosis.
 

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In the fall of 2018 the House and Senate passed the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act (the SUPPORT Act)1 comprehensive legislation to address the opioid epidemic.

A recent flood of legislation meant to curb opioid abuse is inadvertently making it harder for cancer patients and survivors to get legitimate pain care. ACS CAN’s State Pain Policy Report Card evaluates the level of balance states are striking in the pain policies they’re passing.

 

The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act was signed into law on July 22, 2016. CARA was the first major legislative effort focused on addressing the opioid epidemic in the U.S.

Photo of ACS CAN Volunteers at Advocacy Event to Support Cancer Research Funding

Research, Funding and Drug Development

Improvements in outcomes for cancer patients require continued research and innovation.  ACS CAN advocates for robust federal funding for cancer research, as well as research and drug approval policies that accelerate the development of new treatments while still ensuring patient safety.

ACS CAN strongly believes that clinical trials are the key step towards advancing potential new cancer treatments from the research setting to the cancer care clinic, and that patient enrollment is critical to this success. Clinical trial matching improves enrollment by identifying a list of potential trials for which patients may be eligible. ACS CAN strongly supports NCI’s ongoing efforts to improve both its clinical trials reporting program (CTRP) database and functionalities within trials.cancer.gov. In this letter, we identify areas of need and potential opportunities for NCI to improve clinical trial matching.

Clinical trials are pivotal to advancements in cancer treatment, but patient enrollment in these trials remains a challenge. Clinical trial matching services facilitate patient enrollment in clinical trials by identifying potential trials for interested patients and their proxies (e.g., caregivers and providers), and in some cases by providing other support services such as educational materials or personnel who can answer questions or assist patients.

Leading health care companies and organizations representing patients, providers, laboratories and diagnostic manufacturers called on Senate and House leaders to advance legislation that would reform and modernize the process for bringing innovative diagnostics and clinical laboratory tests to ma

Photo of ACS CAN Volunteers participating in health care reform Lobby Day event

Access to Health Care

ACS CAN advocates for policies that provide access to treatments and services people with cancer need for their care - including those who may be newly diagnosed, in active treatment and cancer survivors.

Many cancer patients have difficulty affording the cost of their prescription drugs, regardless of whether they are insured.  This is especially true for newer drugs that do not have a generic equivalent.  Many programs exist to help patients afford their medication.  This fact sheet focuses on two of these – patient assistance programs and discount coupons.  

A Section 1115 Demonstration Waiver gives states flexibility to design and improve upon their Medicaid programs through pilot or demonstration projects.

A Section 1115 Demonstration Waiver gives states flexibility to design and improve upon their Medicaid programs through pilot or demonstration projects.

Photo of Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Event Participant

Prevention and Early Detection

ACS CAN advocates for public policies that can prevent nearly half of all cancer deaths by ensuring access to recommended cancer screenings, protecting the public from skin cancer risk, reducing tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke and supporting people in increasing physical activity, eating a healthy diet, and managing their weight.

If detected early, cervical cancer is one of the most successfully treatable cancers. Incidence and mortality rates of cervical cancer have declined by over 50 percent in the past 40 years, largely due to improved screening and early detection. However, the rate of decline has slowed in recent years. Efforts to reduce barriers to screening could greatly improve cervical cancer screening rates, particularly for disparate populations.

NBCCEDP a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) program provides low-income, uninsured, and underinsured women access to breast and cervical cancer screenings and diagnostic services. Ensuring adequate funding for the NBCCEDP will preserve a critical safety net for American women who continue to lack access to lifesaving screening, diagnostic, and treatment services for breast and cervical cancers.

This factsheet discusses risk factors for breast cancer and the importance of screening in the U.S.