U.S. Senate Candidates Share Their Plans on Leading Cancer Issues

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network Volunteers Urged Major Candidates to Clearly State Their Position on Key Legislation with Questionnaire

October 15, 2020

RALEIGH, NC – October 15, 2020 – The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) recently called on Sen. Thom Tillis and Cal Cunningham to go on the record with their positions on cancer and health care issues. This week, both candidates shared their detailed plans on how they plan to address this crucial legislation if elected.

ACS CAN, the nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, is heavily involved in the election as part of its Cancer Votes program – the nation’s leading voter education program informing the public and candidates about the actions lawmakers should take to make fighting cancer a national priority.

As part of ACS CAN’s questionnaire, major candidates in the U.S. Senate race publicly stated their positions and plans on committing federal funding to cancer research, ensuring access to affordable, quality health coverage, improving rural care and addressing the lack of diversity in clinical research trials.

“Government officials at the federal, state and local level make decisions every day that impact the ability of people with cancer or who are at risk of cancer to prevent and fight the disease,” shared ACS CAN State Lead Ambassador, John Tramontin. John was one of his father’s caregiver prior to him passing away from pancreatic cancer. “I’m encouraged to see the candidates publicly share their plans to prioritize critical legislation that prevents cancer and protects those fighting the disease, if elected. In particular their plans to address impacts by the COVID-19 pandemic, including how to move tomorrow’s cures forward by supporting cancer research and making care more accessible for all in North Carolina.”

Specifically, ACS CAN is asking candidates to answer the following questions:

  • Cancer Research Funding: If elected, will you vote for annual increases in cancer research funding for the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute?
  • Access to Health Care: If the Affordable Care Act is overturned by the Supreme Court, how do you think we should protect Americans with pre-existing conditions like cancer?
  • Medicaid Eligibility: If elected, would you support increasing federal funding to help North Carolina afford the expansion of their Medicaid program?
  • Rural Health Care: If elected, how will you address the challenges of rural cancer care?
  • Health Equity in Clinical Trials: If elected, what policy changes would you support to address the lack of diversity in clinical research trials and ensure health equity?

“As a colon and breast cancer survivor, I know first-hand how important the decisions of elected officials can be to people with cancer and their families,” said DonnaMarie Woodson, an ACS CAN volunteer who credits the coverage she received as a result of the federal health care law with saving her life. “That is why I am asking everyone to learn where the candidates stand on public policy issues that will help make cancer history. And no matter who wins, our volunteers pledge to work with them to support laws and policies that help people fight cancer.” 

It is estimated nearly 59, 620 North Carolinians will be diagnosed with cancer this year. Nationwide, more than 1.7 million people will be diagnosed with cancer and more than 600,000 will die from the disease.

To see where the candidates stand on lifesaving legislation, visit

ACS CAN is strictly non-partisan and does not endorse, oppose, or contribute to any candidate or political party. Throughout the campaign season, volunteers across the country will be informing candidates and the public about cancer issues in an effort to make cancer a national priority.


ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visit

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