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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Photo of female cancer patient

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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ACS CAN supports balanced policies that address the public health concerns relevant to the opioid epidemic,  that do not harm patient access to  medications that they need to treat pain appropriately. 

Palliative care is coordinated patient care that treats the patient as well as the disease.  It provides cancer patients and their caregivers an extra layer of support, making available a team of experts focused on relieving pain, managing emotional stress and offering other supportive services.

In August-September 2019, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) — through its Survivor Views Project  — conducted a survey of cancer patients and survivors to determine whether they were asking for and getting appropriate palliative care treatment. 

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.

Disparities have been described in various domains of cancer research, each issue exists separately and has a different relationship to understanding and addressing disparities in clinical outcomes. The various domains of research disparities are explored in Cancer Research and Disparities: Understanding and Addressing the Issues. 

ACS CAN submitted comments to the National Institute of Health Request for Information: Inviting Comments and Suggestions to Advance and Strengthen Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the Biomedical Research Workforce and Advance Health Disparities and Health Equity Research

ACS CAN submitted comments to Medicare Administrative Contractors proposing coverage for minimal residual disease testing for cancer. 

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.

Cancer biomarker testing can lead to targeted therapy which can improve survival and quality of life by connecting patients to the most beneficial treatment for their disease.

ACS CAN comments supporting Medicaid expansion in Oklahoma, but opposing their proposal to rescind retroactive eligibility

Where healthcare dollars are spent compared with dollars on cancer care, 2018.

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.

Because JUUL’s products continue to have the largest share of the e-cigarette market, and therefore presumably are undergoing expedited review, we write at this time to express our conclusion that based on all of the publicly available evidence, no JUUL product currently on the market can meet the statutory public health standard. Therefore, they should not receive a marketing order.

Menthol in cigarettes increases smoking initiation, decreases successful quitting, and leads to greater addiction. The tobacco industry has used menthol for decades to intentionally and aggressively target certain communities for addiction to their deadly products. As a result, African Americans consistently report the highest prevalence of menthol cigarette use.

ACS CAN supports a federal prohibition and state and local sales restrictions on menthol cigarettes as part of comprehensive policy to remove all flavored tobacco products.