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.

Prevention and Early Detection Resources:

Approximately 1 in 8 women (13%) will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in her lifetime, and 1 in 39 women (3%) will die from breast cancer. In 2023, an estimated 297,790 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer, and 43,170 will die from the disease. Despite the fact that U.S. breast cancer death rates have been declining for several decades, not all people have benefited equally from the advances in prevention, early detection, and treatments that have helped achieve these lower rates.

Critical steps are needed to increase lung cancer screening rates across the country and also increasing to access comprehensive cessation benefits, especially among individuals with limited incomes that are disproportionately burdened by lung cancer.

ACS CAN supports H.R. 4286 to eliminate barriers and increase access to lung cancer screening and expand coverage for tobacco cessation.

Breast cancer is the second most diagnosed cancer among women in the U.S. and the second leading cause of cancer death among women after lung cancer. Ensuring breast cancer screening services ― including diagnostic and follow-up testing ― are covered without no cost-sharing is essential to increasing access and expanding coverage of breast cancer screening.

ACS CAN supports H.R. 3086 to increase access to no cost breast cancer screening, diagnostic and follow-up testing.

Tobacco use has been found to be one of the primary drivers of cancer-related health disparities because its use disproportionately impacts people based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability status, mental health, income level, education level, and geographic location. Achieving health equity relies heavily on eliminating tobacco use. ACS CAN is pursuing fact-based tobacco control policies at the local, state and federal levels that aim to reduce disparities and improve health outcomes for everyone.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) supports a comprehensive approach to tobacco control that includes significantly increasing excise taxes on all tobacco products to generate revenue, protect kids, and save lives. Significant tobacco tax increases are one of the most effective ways to prevent kids from starting to use tobacco and help adults quit.

ACS CAN supports the Women and Lung Cancer Research and Preventive Services Act of 2023 by to accelerate progress in reducing mortality from lung cancer, including among women.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is focused on public policies that help to create healthy social and physical environments and to provide consumers with clear, useful information that fosters healthy lifestyle choices.

What children eat today affects their future cancer risks. Poor diet, including the consumption of high-calorie foods and beverages, is a major contributor to excess weight. And there is increasing evidence that excess body fat over the course of a lifetime, beginning in childhood, has adverse health consequences,[i] including cancer. 

Children with access to nutritious food are more likely to develop healthy eating habits they can continue to use into adulthood. Offering nutritious free school meals and snacks, before, during, and after school to all students is an effective policy intervention to address food insecurity and improve diet quality.

Our ability to continue to make progress against cancer relies heavily on eliminating inequities that exist in breast cancer prevention and treatment. That is why ACS CAN advocates for policies to reduce the disparities in breast cancer by improving access to prevention and early detection services, patient navigation services, insurance coverage, in-network facilities, and clinical trials.

Tobacco Resources:

Tobacco use has been found to be one of the primary drivers of cancer-related health disparities because its use disproportionately impacts people based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability status, mental health, income level, education level, and geographic location. Achieving health equity relies heavily on eliminating tobacco use. ACS CAN is pursuing fact-based tobacco control policies at the local, state and federal levels that aim to reduce disparities and improve health outcomes for everyone.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) supports a comprehensive approach to tobacco control that includes significantly increasing excise taxes on all tobacco products to generate revenue, protect kids, and save lives. Significant tobacco tax increases are one of the most effective ways to prevent kids from starting to use tobacco and help adults quit.

Cigars, cigarillos, and little cigars pose a real danger to the long-term health of all Americans – especially young people – yet government regulation of these products lags behind that of cigarettes and e-cigarettes.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) supports a comprehensive approach to tobacco control that includes significantly increasing excise taxes on all forms of tobacco. Regular, significant excise tax increases of $1.00 or more per pack of cigarettes are one of the most effective ways to prevent kids from starting to use cigarettes and to help adults quit. Tobacco excise taxes can also reduce tobacco-related health disparities among people with limited incomes, pregnant persons and among racial and ethnic populations.

 

In 1999, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a lawsuit against major tobacco manufacturers Philip Morris USA, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, Lorillard, and Altria to hold the industry accountable for more than 50 years of conspiring to defraud the public in violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. Big Tobacco, an industry which has for decades knowingly addicted and endangered the lives of millions of Americans for their own profit, must now post the truth about their deadly products, including at the point-of-sale (POS) for approximately 220,000 tobacco retailers.

The U.S. Surgeon General declared youth e-cigarette use to be an epidemic. E-cigarettes are the most used tobacco product among youth and, like any tobacco product, are unsafe. E-cigarette use is also most common among younger adults. Action is urgently needed to reverse these dangerous trends.

Sustained, dedicated federal investment in tobacco control through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Office of Smoking and Health (OSH) is necessary to prevent initiation of tobacco products, monitor tobacco product use, identify tobacco related disparities, and promote effective strategies to help individuals who use tobacco products to successfully quit.

Tobacco excise taxes benefit people with limited incomes and reduce tobacco-related health disparities, especially when tobacco excise tax revenues are dedicated to cessation programs that serve people with limited incomes.

Implementation of graphic warnings in the U.S. has been thwarted by tobacco industry legal challenges. The American Cancer Society (ACS) and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), along with our partners, have fought back in the judicial system, using litigation to both compel the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to issue graphic warning regulations and help the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) defend the regulations finalized by FDA.

Screening Resources:

Approximately 1 in 8 women (13%) will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in her lifetime, and 1 in 39 women (3%) will die from breast cancer. In 2023, an estimated 297,790 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer, and 43,170 will die from the disease. Despite the fact that U.S. breast cancer death rates have been declining for several decades, not all people have benefited equally from the advances in prevention, early detection, and treatments that have helped achieve these lower rates.

The PSA Screening for HIM Act  (H.R. 1826/S. 2821) would remove out-of-pocket costs for prostate cancer screening for those at highest risk for the disease. 

Critical steps are needed to increase lung cancer screening rates across the country and also increasing to access comprehensive cessation benefits, especially among individuals with limited incomes that are disproportionately burdened by lung cancer.

ACS CAN supports H.R. 4286 to eliminate barriers and increase access to lung cancer screening and expand coverage for tobacco cessation.

Breast cancer is the second most diagnosed cancer among women in the U.S. and the second leading cause of cancer death among women after lung cancer. Ensuring breast cancer screening services ― including diagnostic and follow-up testing ― are covered without no cost-sharing is essential to increasing access and expanding coverage of breast cancer screening.

ACS CAN supports H.R. 3086 to increase access to no cost breast cancer screening, diagnostic and follow-up testing.

ACS CAN supports the Women and Lung Cancer Research and Preventive Services Act of 2023 by to accelerate progress in reducing mortality from lung cancer, including among women.

Our ability to continue to make progress against cancer relies heavily on eliminating inequities that exist in breast cancer prevention and treatment. That is why ACS CAN advocates for policies to reduce the disparities in breast cancer by improving access to prevention and early detection services, patient navigation services, insurance coverage, in-network facilities, and clinical trials.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Colorectal Cancer Control Program (CRCCP) provides grant funding to 20 state health departments, eight universities, two tribal organizations, and five other organizations to help prevent colorectal cancer, the third most common cancer in men and women and the second leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. for men and women combined.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) is highly effective at detecting and treating breast and cervical cancer in low-income, uninsured, and underinsured women – who may otherwise not be screened. The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) urges Congress to reauthorize this critical program by passing the Screening for Communities to Receive Early and Equitable Needed Services (SCREENS) for Cancer Act.

Our latest survey finds that cancer patients and survivors would be less likely to stay current with preventive care, including recommended cancer screenings, if the provision requiring these services be covered at no cost were repealed. This survey also explores the challenges of limited provider networks and the need for patient navigation.

Healthy Eating and Active Living Resources:

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is focused on public policies that help to create healthy social and physical environments and to provide consumers with clear, useful information that fosters healthy lifestyle choices.

What children eat today affects their future cancer risks. Poor diet, including the consumption of high-calorie foods and beverages, is a major contributor to excess weight. And there is increasing evidence that excess body fat over the course of a lifetime, beginning in childhood, has adverse health consequences,[i] including cancer. 

Children with access to nutritious food are more likely to develop healthy eating habits they can continue to use into adulthood. Offering nutritious free school meals and snacks, before, during, and after school to all students is an effective policy intervention to address food insecurity and improve diet quality.

The American Cancer Society (ACS) and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) appreciate the opportunity to comment on the USDA proposed rule to revise the child nutrition program requirements for meal patterns to be consistent with current nutrition science and federal dietary guidance.

Many important public health policies are often developed and passed at the local level. Communities are also able to advance health equity when they can pass specific public health policies aimed at addressing local health disparities. But preemption—when a higher level of government revokes local authority—can restrict local policymakers’ ability to pass, implement, and enforce innovative and proactive public health policies. States should be able to set a minimum standard for public health protections, but they should not pre-empt local governments from going above and beyond that minimum standard.

The American Cancer Society (ACS) and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) appreciate the opportunity to comment on the proposed rule to update the definition for the implied nutrient content claim “healthy” to be consistent with current nutrition science and Federal dietary guidance.

ACS CAN supports giving people tools, such as the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs), to make healthful food and beverage choices.

ACS and ACS CAN submitted comments and recommendations regarding the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, planned to be held in September 2022. 

ACS and ACS CAN submitted comments on Topics and Scientific Questions for the 2025-2030 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.