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American Cancer Society

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The American Cancer Society is organized into 12 easily manageable chartered divisions of both volunteers and medical staff that operate in more than 900 offices spread through out United States and one in Puerto Rico. The society is United State's largest voluntary health organization and also ranks in the top ten of the most popular charities in United States. As per the society's estimates, more than 11 million cancer survivors and many others who have avoided contracting cancer will be celebrating their birthday in 2011.

The headquarters of the Society is located in the American Cancer Society Center in Atlanta, Georgia. The National Home Office plans, develops and implements the information, serviced and support programs of the Society in order to help patients through every phase of cancer. The Home Office also administers the groundbreaking research programs of the Society and at the same time provides materials and technical support to all the 12 divisions and 900 offices.

The divisions are run by Divisional Board Directors. This division on a regular basis runs awareness efforts, provides program delivery, raises funds and also organizes public information events. The local offices strategically located around the nation are present in more than 5,100 communities. These local offices deliver the cancer survival programs and services to the patients directly.


The American Cancer Society's has an international mission statement, which shows the global nature of the organization and the global presence that the organization has. The international mission of the organization concentrates on building capacities in societies with developing cancer and also to collaborate with other organizations that are carrying out the same research and have the same missions.

The Society tracks the cancer related occurrences across the United States, which includes the number of new cases, the deaths and also the time it takes for people to survive after the diagnosis of a cancer. According to their 2011 cancer reports, there are more than 1.5 million cases of cancer in United States. The society has developed a Health Services Research program that conducts research to develop new methods for cancer treatments.

The Society also provides grants to other US medical schools and universities who are carrying out research in cancer related disciplines. More than 230 universities and schools are currently funded under this grants system, which is known as extramural grants. The society boasts about funding 44 Nobel Prize winners in life science research early in their career, which is a record for a non-profit organization.

The Society also has setup the International Tobacco Control Research Program to support collaborative international surveillance efforts in tobacco research. The tobacco program has so far collaborated with the World Bank and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Office of Smoking and the WHO Tobacco Free Initiative. It also publishes the "Tobacco Control County Profiles" to spread knowledge about Tobacco based cancer developments.

The Society believes that conquering cancer is as much a matter of scientific discovery as public policy. This relentless belief has led to the society advocating for affordable and quality healthcare for patients and also increased funding for cancer research. The Society is also pushing for policies and laws that decrease tobacco sale and use and other lobbying efforts to ban tobacco.


The American Cancer Society was originally established in 1913 in New York City. A group of 15 physicians formed the Society with the name of American Society for the Control of Cancer. The name was later changed to American Cancer Society in 1945.

During the formation of the Society, the chances of a person contracting cancer and dying were almost a hundred percent. People feared cancer: less because of its incurableness but more because of lack of information related to cancer. The Society's founders realized that they needed to increase the public awareness about this disease if they wanted to see improvement in cancer cure. The members of the Society began writing articles for popular newspapers, journals and magazines, which helped educate the general public. Contests were to select the Society logo was organized in 1928, which gave the sword logo that the Society still uses till today.

It was Marjorie G. Ollig in 1936 who suggested that the Society create a legion of volunteers who could help wage war against the dreaded disease. This legion of volunteers was known as the Women's Field Arms and was a huge success. These volunteers helped raise money and spread out to the streets to raise awareness. By 1935 there were more than 15,000 active volunteers with the Society who were helping fulfill the missions of the Society, and by the end of 1938, this number had swelled to ten times that number.

In 1945 the American Society for the Control of Cancer was renamed as the American Cancer Society and was a bolder step for the organization. In 1946, more than $4 million was raised by philantropist Mary Lasker, which laid the foundation of the cancer research program and the cancer signal campaign that turned out to be highly successful. During this time physicians found a new tool to combat cancer in the form of chemotherapy drugs that gave a huge boost to the Society's cause.

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Business Size: 100-1000
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