NCI Director Announces Personal Cancer Diagnosis

Statement from American Cancer Society and ACS CAN CEO Karen E. Knudsen, MBA, PhD

December 14, 2022

"With the announcement today from Dr. Monica M. Bertagnolli, director of the National Cancer Institute, of her recent breast cancer diagnosis, the American Cancer Society (ACS) offers its support to Dr. Bertagnolli.

"As a former ACS Board member and a leading voice in the cancer community, Dr. Bertagnolli has been an outstanding advocate for cancer patients and their families. We stand with her as she embarks on her own cancer journey. Dr. Bertagnolli’s announcement is yet another reminder of the importance of breast cancer screening. Breast cancer screening saves lives and is safe and effective. Screening tests can detect cancer before it starts or catch cancer early when it may be easier to treat.

"Once diagnosed, it is important for patients to know what resources are available. Our 24/7 cancer helpline (1-800-227-2345) and website,, provide education and answers, while our Cancer Survivors Network and Reach To Recovery® programs provide support from other survivors on similar journeys.

"ACS is also putting more than 100 years of lifesaving experience to work through our investments in breast cancer research that facilitates breakthroughs in prevention and treatment, influencing public policy that enhances access to care, and supporting breast cancer patients when they need it most.

"Thanks in part to these decades of work, a breast cancer diagnosis does not come without hope, and the breast cancer journey is not traveled alone."

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