American Cancer Society Milestones

On its 100th anniversary, the American Cancer Society is proud to claim just some of the following milestones:

1976 - The California division of the American Cancer Society gets nearly one million smokers to quit for the day, marking the first Great American Smokeout®, which goes nationwide the next year.

1978 - Tamoxifen is approved by the PDA for treating estrogen receptor positive breast cancer. Society-funded Bernard Fisher, MD, Richard Love, MD, and V. Craig Jordan, PhD, develop and carry out the first trial of tamoxifen to prevent recurrence in breast cancer survivors

1980 - Early detection guidelines for breast cancer are developed.

1985 - The first American Cancer Society Relay For Life ® is held in Tacoma, Washington. Today, the event is held in nearly 3,400 communities nationwide and raises more than one billion dollars for the Society's cancer research, education, advocacy, and patient services programs.

1989 - The Society teams with the Personal Care Products Council (formerly the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association, or CFTA) to produce Look Good ... Feel Better ®, a program which helps women deal with the appearance-related side effects of cancer treatment.

1991 - Society-funded research shows that young children recognize Joe Camel as easily as Mickey Mouse, demonstrating that the cartoon character reaches an audience well under the legal smoking age.

1998 - The five-year relative survival rate improves to 58%. (In 1960, it was 37% for men and 39% for women.) The FDA approves the use of Herceptin, a monoclonal antibody developed by former Society grantee Dennis Slamon, MD, for treatment of certain breast cancers.

2001 - The Society takes the lead in successfully convincing Congress to enact new legislation to extend Medicare coverage of colonoscopy to average-risk individuals age 50 or older.

2002 - The Society launches a new 501 (c)4 sister organization—the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network-to provide new opportunities for voter education and direct advocacy for cancer legislation.

2007 - An American Cancer Society report shows the first decline in actual number of cancer deaths in the more than 70 years since nationwide data began to be compiled.

2010 - As the nations largest private funding source for scientists studying cancer, ACS funded more than 107 million dollars for 222 research grants to help further our work to discover causes and cures for cancer, with 46 society-funded researchers going on to win the Nobel Prize. ACS Annual Statistics Report found that death rates from cancer in the U.S. have decreased by 21% for men and 12% among women.

2011 - The American Cancer Society provided 57,740 Californians with patient related information and/or services, a 6% increase from 2010.

2013 - The American Cancer Society celebrates 100 years of leading the way to transform cancer form deadly to preventable.

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