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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:

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.

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.

What children eat today affects their future cancer risks. 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.

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.

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.

Tobacco Control Resources:

Smoke-free policies reduce exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) in office and non-office worksites. This has been proven by reduced nicotine concentration levels in the bloodstream of the adults who work in these settings.

 

More than 40 years after former U.S. Surgeon General Jesse Steinfeld first exposed the potential health risks of secondhand smoke (SHS) in 1971, and nearly 30 years after a subsequent Surgeon General’s report stated that SHS causes lung cancer and other diseases, all U.S. workers still do not have the right to breathe smoke-free air.

ACS CAN advocates for everyone’s right to breathe smoke-free air so that no one is forced to choose between their health and a paycheck. ACS CAN urges state and local officials to pass and protect comprehensive smoke-free laws in all workplaces, including restaurants, bars and gaming facilities.

Research has repeatedly shown that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS). Smoke-free laws and policies provide immediate and long-term health benefits for both people who smoke and those who do not and are good for businesses and workers.

Exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) is an occupational hazard for many casino workers – from dealers to security. But when smoking is permitted in casinos, no one – even patrons – is safe from SHS exposure. Job-related exposure to SHS is a significant, but entirely preventable, cause of premature death among U.S. workers.

 

ACS CAN and 77 leading public health organizations urged the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and its enforcement partners at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), to use all the enforcement tools at their disposal against manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers and retailers to clear the market of unauthorized e-cigarette products, including flavored products that put young people at risk for nicotine addiction and other significant health harms.

Tobacco use causes about one-third of cancer deaths in the nation overall, but the burden varies by state.

All tobacco products, including heated tobacco products, are unsafe. Heated tobacco products involve heating rather than burning the tobacco leaf, which is why the tobacco industry refers to them as “heat-not-burn” or non-combustible cigarettes. These products differ from e-cigarettes which heat a liquid.

ACS CAN calls on the administration to finalize FDA’s rules to prohibit the sale of menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars immediately. There is no scientific rationale for permitting any flavored tobacco product to remain on the market. To end cancer as we know it for everyone, tobacco use must be addressed and cannot be done without prohibiting the sale of menthol flavors and all flavored cigars.

Screening Resources:

Early detection of breast and cervical cancer through screening can improve survival and reduce mortality by finding cancer at an early stage when treatment is more effective and less expensive. To save lives and reduce health care spending, 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 people who may otherwise not be screened.

Early detection of cancer through screening can improve survival and reduce mortality by detecting cancer at an early stage when treatment is more effective. The most recent data show breast and lung cancer screening rates were lowest among American Indian and Alaska Native people compared to other race and ethnicities, and below all race and ethnicities combined for cervical, colorectal, and prostate cancer screening.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

Healthy Eating and Active Living Resources:

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) advocates for policies at the federal, state, and local level aimed at addressing food and nutrition insecurity and reducing health disparities. Having consistent access to affordable nutritious food has a direct impact on a person’s health and can help prevent, manage, and treat chronic diseases like cancer.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) supports policies and funding that increase access to “Food is Medicine” (or food as medicine) initiatives and interventions intended to prevent, treat, or manage chronic diseases and often address food and nutrition insecurity.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) supports giving participants of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) financial incentives to purchase fruits and vegetables.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) supports public policies at the local, state, and federal level that make it easier for children and adults to eat a healthy diet and to be physically active, thereby reducing their long-term cancer risk.

What children eat today affects their future cancer risks. 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.