What Is the History of the American Cancer Society?


Quick Answer

In 1913, 15 people including 10 doctors formed an organization known as the American Society for the Control of Cancer in New York City, which would later become the American Cancer Society. The goal of this organization was to raise public awareness about cancer, a disease that almost guaranteed death at the time. The organization used the Sword of Hope, an artwork designed by George E. Durant, who won a poster contest in 1928, as its symbol.

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Full Answer

In 1945, the American Society for the Control of Cancer reorganized and became the American Cancer Society. In 1946, with the money raised by philanthropist Mary Lasker, the ACC established its research program. The next year, it began a cancer signals campaign to educate the public about cancer. It was about this time that Dr. Sidney Farber, a research grantee of ACC, made a breakthrough with chemotherapy.

Throughout the years, the ACC has supported researchers in many cancer researches. These researches helped connect smoking to cancer, as well as developed various drugs and treatments. Some of these researches led to the development of tobacco control progress, the passage of the National Cancer Act and the development of the National Cancer Institute. As of 2015, there are about 14.5 million people who have survived cancer in the United States.

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