American Cancer Society
|Founded||May 22, 1913|
|Focus||"To save lives by helping people stay well, helping people get well, by finding cures, and fighting back."|
|Gary M. Reedy, |
The American Cancer Society (ACS) is a nationwide voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating
The society was founded on May 22, 1913, by ten physicians and five businessmen in
At the time of founding, it was not considered appropriate to mention the word "cancer" in public. Information concerning this illness was cloaked in a climate of fear and denial. Over 75,000 people died each year of cancer in just the United States. The top item on the founders' agenda was to raise awareness of cancer, before any other progress could be made in funding research. Therefore, a frenetic writing campaign was undertaken to educate doctors, nurses, patients and family members about cancer. Articles were written for popular magazines and professional journals. The ASCC undertook to publish their own journal, Campaign Notes, a monthly bulletin with information about cancer. They began recruiting doctors from all over the United States to help educate the public about cancer.
In 1936, Marjorie Illig, an ASCC field representative, suggested the creation of a network consisting of new volunteers for the purpose of waging "war on cancer". From 1935 to 1938 the number of people involved in cancer control in the US grew from 15,000 to 150,000. According to Working to Give, the Women's Field Army, a group of volunteers working for the ASCC, was primarily responsible for this increase.
The sword symbol, adopted by the American Cancer Society in 1928, was designed by George E. Durant of
In 2013 the American Cancer Society embarked on a nationwide reorganization. It centralized its operations and consolidated, merging previous regional affiliates into the parent organization. It also required all employees to reapply for their jobs.