The American Cancer Society is a nationwide voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer. The goals of ACS are to prevent cancer, save lives, and diminish the suffering from the disease through research, education, advocacy, and service (American Cancer Society, 2017). Being diagnosed with cancer presents devastating news to the victim, their family, and friends. A lot of unanswered questions come to the person’s mind, the pain, suffering and death. Questions of what the person had done throughout their lives that could have possibly led to their present diagnosis.
For a friend who is struggling with grief and denial, I would recommend going to the ACS website at www.cancer.org. ACS offers a multitude of programs and services for cancer patients to help them on their road to recovery. Recommendation of services depends on the type of cancer and its complications. For a woman who had a mastectomy, after being diagnosed with breast cancer, one recommendation may be to complete patient’s support services. ACS assists patients with resources in many communities and help by partnering with pharmaceutical companies to provide chemotherapy medications (American Cancer Society, 2016). Also, they subsidize for hotel accommodations for patients that travel out of their community – even out of their state – for treatment. There are many other services including providing cosmetologists who volunteer their time to give makeup lessons and free makeup products to take home to combat the side effects of chemotherapy.
There are many factors that may lead to health disparities in cancer; one of those factors is tobacco usage. Tobacco is the largest contributor to cancer mortality as it causes nearly one-fifth of all cancer-related deaths. In addition to cancer, tobacco can also lead to deadly infections such as Hepatitis B Virus (HBV), human papilloma virus (HPV), and Heliobacteria Pylon (Institute of Medicine, 2007). Of course, tobacco is not the only contributor to cancer as factors such as alcohol usage, occupational exposures, environmental pollutions, bad diets and lack of exercise all play a major role in the cause of cancer amongst individuals around the world (Institute of Medicine, 2007). Cutting down on all these bad habits could lead to a long, cancer free life. However, certain cancers can be hereditary. For people who have a long family history of such, bi-annual doctor visits are highly recommended to keep track of one’s certain health status.
ACS understands that even if all the necessary precautions are taken to prevent cancer from occurring, that it still may not be enough. That is why organization funds the Cancer Control and Prevention Research. The research program concentrates on studying the “behaviors that can reduce cancer risk, improve early detection, or enhance the quality of life of patients and families” (American Cancer Society, 2017). There is even an emphasis placed on research focusing on improving health equity in disadvantaged groups and communities. Such steps taken by ACS will naturally lead to the reduction in cancer as a disease and build upon hope for those suffering the disease.
American Cancer Society. (2017). We Fund Forward-Thinking Cancer Research. Retrieved August 09, 2017, from https://www.cancer.org/research/we-fund-cancer-research.html
American Cancer Society. (2016, April 29). When Someone You Know Has Cancer. Retrieved August 09, 2017, from https://www.cancer.org/treatment/understanding-your-diagnosis/talking-about-cancer/when-someone-you-know-has-cancer.html
Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Cancer Control in Low- and Middle-Income Countries; Sloan FA, Gelband H, editors. Cancer Control Opportunities in Low- and Middle-Income Countries. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2007. 2, Cancer Causes and Risk Factors and the Elements of Cancer Control. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK54025/