American Cancer Society

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Overview

The American Cancer Society (ACS) is the "nationwide community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from cancer, through research, education, advocacy and service." The group has its headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, and has branches in all 50 U.S. states and Puerto Rico. It also operates about 3400 local offices.

The American Cancer Society was founded in 1913 as the American Society for the Control of Cancer (ASCC) by 15 physicians and businessmen in New York City. It adopted its current name and organization in 1945.

Its activities include providing grants to researchers, running public health advertising campaigns, and organizing projects such as the Relay For Life, Great American Smokeout, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, and Daffodil Days.

Among its notable endorsements is the Hopkins 4K for Cancer, a 4000-mile bike ride from Baltimore to San Francisco to raise money for cancer patients.

Fund Allocation

The ACS spends 20% of its budget on cancer prevention activities and 20% on patient support (e.g., support groups, transportation, patient education). Detection and treatment programs receive 16% of the budget, and research programs (including prevention research) receive 14% of the budget.

The ACS currently meets the Better Business Bureau's Standards for Charity Accountability (at least 65% to program services and no more than 35% to overhead and fundraising expenses). It spends 8% of its income on administration, $760,000 of which goes to the CEO.[1] [2] However, 22% of its income is spent on fundraising.

Criticisms

The Chairman of the Cancer Prevention Coalition, Dr. Samuel S. Epstein, believes their priorities are economically motivated, and reflect conflicts of interests with the pharmaceutical industry, the pesticide industry, and the mammography industry.[3]

In the past, the ACS has been involved in a few economic scandals, none of which indicated systemic abuse. In 2000, Dan Wiant, an administrative officer, was accused of embezzling $7 million [4]. In the 1980s, an employee discovered that a fund-raiser was leading a $4 million tax fraud scheme.[5].

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de:American Cancer Society he:החברה האמריקנית לסרטן



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