One-hundred years ago, the word “cancer” was not spoken and, unfortunately, almost all patients died from the disease. However, during the past 100 years, progress has been made in the fight to where two of three people diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. are surviving for at least five years and there has been a 20 percent decline in cancer death rates in the U.S. since the early 1990s.
The American Cancer Society (ACS) began in 1913 as the American Society for the Control of Cancer to raise awareness about cancer. In 1936, women organized into the Women’s Field Army to continue raising awareness and funding. Then 10 years later, the Society began its research program that almost immediately saw one of its researchers discover chemotherapy that produced remissions in pediatric leukemia patients.
Its work has continued with promoting testing to reduce uterine and cervical cancer by 70 percent; discovering the link between smoking and lung cancer; investing to show mammography as the best way to detect breast cancer; and using molecularly-targeted therapy to treat cancer. The American Cancer Society has also invested in developing Hope Lodge facilities, promoted the Great American Smokeout, and launched a 24/7 cancer information call center.
On Wednesday, May 22, ACS will recognize its 100 years of work in fighting cancer with several activities taking place during May 21-25 in Northwest Arkansas. The weeklong recognition begins May 21 with a “Give Back Night” fundraiser at On The Border in Rogers, beginning at 4 p.m. On May 22, the American Cancer Society office, Center for Non-Profits, Suite 2313 in Rogers, will hold a ribbon cutting and reception for the public at 11 a.m. Also, a “Give Back Day” will be held at Zaxby’s in Siloam Springs. Then Thursday, May 23, a “Spirit Night” will be held at Sassy’s Redhouse in Fayetteville, beginning at 6 p.m.
“As the official sponsor of birthdays, the American Cancer Society knows how important each and every birthday can be. And we’re leading the way to transform cancer from deadly to treatable and from treatable to preventable,” said Keisha Pittman, area director for the American Cancer Society in Northwest Arkansas. “The progress we’ve helped make in the past 100 years is remarkable. Next week, and specifically on May 22,, we will mark 100 years of saving lives and creating more birthdays.
“We believe this milestone is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to celebrate our lifesaving progress and raise awareness and additional funds to finish the fight, and let everyone know we will make this cancer’s last century.”
For additional information on these events, contact the Rogers ACS office at 479.246.0002. For cancer information any time, day or night, or to connect to local available resources and programs, call toll-free to 1-800-227-2345 or visit online at www.cancer.org.