Saluting the American Cancer Society's 100 Years; Fight to Save Lives; Society Leads the Way in Cancer Prevention, Treatment and Research

By Baxter, Warner | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), May 22, 2013 | Go to article overview

Saluting the American Cancer Society's 100 Years; Fight to Save Lives; Society Leads the Way in Cancer Prevention, Treatment and Research


Baxter, Warner, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


In 1913, a small group of doctors and lay people banded together in New York City to fight the growing scourge of cancer. Back then, a cancer diagnosis most often resulted in great pain, suffering and ultimately, death. But that dedicated, feisty group, which eventually came to be known as the American Cancer Society, was undeterred in its commitment to battling the disease. One hundred years later, the repercussions of that bold quest can be felt around the country, around the world, and right here in St. Louis.

The American Cancer Society has played a role in nearly every cancer research breakthrough in recent history. The society has contributed to a 20 percent decline in cancer death rates in the United States since the early 1990s. Today, two out of three people diagnosed with cancer are surviving five years or more. As a result, more than 400 people a day are celebrating birthdays that would have otherwise been lost to the disease.

Today, the American Cancer Society celebrates 100 years of saving lives and creating more birthdays. Along with my partners in the society's local chapter of CEOs Against Cancer, we are now, more than ever, committed to finishing the fight. As we work hand in hand with the American Cancer Society and the St. Louis community, the focus remains on the ambitious undertaking that still lies ahead: changing the statistics so that everyone survives cancer. And nowhere is that continuing fight to save lives more evident than in our own backyard.

Consider this:

The key to celebrating more birthdays is to stay well. The American Cancer Society saves lives by helping people take steps to prevent cancer or find it early, when it's most treatable. For instance, each year the society partners with local dermatologists for a free regionwide screening of the most common cancer: skin cancer. Last year, nine local health systems participated, screening 1,246 people, finding 463 suspicious spots for follow-up, including 25 possible melanomas.

The society helps people facing cancer get well by providing free services and reliable cancer information. …

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