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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Woman seeing her physician

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.

More than 2 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer this year and more than 18 million Americans living today have a history of cancer. Having comprehensive and affordable health insurance coverage is a key determinant for surviving cancer.

Our latest survey finds that protecting no-cost screenings and preventive care and reducing the burden of medical debt are the most impotant priorities for cancer patients and survivors. This survey also explores the impacts of cancer on food and nutrition insecurity, with impacts felt across income groups and coverage levels.

This ACS CAN chartbook provides cancer-specific data related to Medicare, including basic information about the program, a discussion of its components, characteristics of enrollees, coverage of services – specifically those related to prevention and screening – program expenditures and enrollees

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.

In response to a request from the National Institute of Starndards and Technology (NIST), ACS CAN has offered comments on the use of march-in rights to address drug costs. 

In response to an annual request from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), ACS CAN has proposed a safe harbor from the Anti-Kickback Statute that would allow trial sponsors to provide financial support to trial participants to offset non-medical costs. 

FDA has proposed to end enforcement discretion with respect to regulating the performance of LDTs.  ACS CAN has long supported harmonizing and modernizing diagnostic oversight and supports the proposed rule.  

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.

For 30 years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program has decreased disparities in breast and cervical cancer deaths.

In 2024, an estimated 13,820 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer, and 4,360 will die from the disease. Cervical cancer can affect any person with a cervix and most often is caused by certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV). Persistent HPV infection causes almost all cervical cancers but fortunately there is a safe and effective vaccine against HPV.

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second-leading cause of cancer death in women. Although incidence rates have increased slightly over the past decade, death rates from breast cancer have been consistently declining over the last three decades, largely due to increased screening rates and improved treatment.

Doctor and Patient

Health Equity

ACS CAN supports health equity efforts for all Americans so they may receive access to quality care, no matter their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, income level or ZIP code. 

In 2024, an estimated 13,820 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer, and 4,360 will die from the disease. Cervical cancer can affect any person with a cervix and most often is caused by certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV). Persistent HPV infection causes almost all cervical cancers but fortunately there is a safe and effective vaccine against HPV.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) believes everyone should have a fair and just opportunity to prevent, detect, treat, and survive cancer. No one should be disadvantaged in their fight against cancer because of income, race, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability status, or where they live. From preventive screening and early detection, through diagnosis and treatment, and into survivorship, there are several factors that influence cancer disparities among different populations across the cancer continuum.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) commented on the National Academy of Sciences’ request for federal policies that contribute to racial and ethnic health inequities.