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.
 

Featured Resources

 

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. 

This table lists key studies and review articles that examine the effect that the addition of palliative care has on overall patient costs. While results vary, the addition of palliative care typically either reduces overall costs or is cost neutral.

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.

Advances in precision medicine have led to targeted cancer therapies that have improved patient outcomes and quality of life within populations of cancer patients with very specific biomarkers. Testing patients for cancer biomarkers is integral to identify those who may benefit from targeted therapy. Despite the importance of such testing, many cancer patients are not tested for biomarkers. This fact sheet highlights recent advancements in targeted cancer therapies and data from ACS CAN Survivor Views surveys of cancer patients and survivors assessing barriers to biomarker testing.  

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) typically follows a standard review process to evaluate a drug’s safety and efficacy. However, drug therapies that address unmet medical needs, treat serious or life-threatening conditions, or show a significant advantage over current therapies may be eligible for one or more of FDA’s four Expedited Review Programs. This factsheet describes those programs.  

A significant portion of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) operating budget comes from user fees paid by industry.  The authority to collect these fees expires every five years and must be renewed.  This factsheet describes the program.  

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.

Research is critical to understanding and reducing cancer disparities, as well as examining gaps in cancer prevention and care delivery that contribute to these disparities. Clinical trials are a key part of research and enable the development of better drugs and treatments for cancer.

All individuals should have equitable access to quality cancer care and equal opportunity to live a healthy life. Our ability to continue to make progress against cancer relies heavily on eliminating the inequities that exist in cancer care.

Although tobacco-related cancer incidence and mortality have declined in the U.S., we continue to see disparities by socioeconomic status (SES), race/ethnicity, educational level, gender, sexual orientation, and geographic location. Our ability to continue to make progress against cancer relies h

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.

A comment letter which details why 22nd Century Group's modified risk tobacco product application should be denied by the Food and Drug Administration.

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.

The greatest avoidable known risk factor for skin cancer is the use of indoor tanning devices. Yet, each year, approximately nine million Americans engage in indoor tanning.The desire for a tanned appearance causes many people, especially young adults and teenagers, to ignore the serious risks and health warnings and use indoor tanning devices.