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American Cancer Society Commits $2 Million to Global Cancer Fight
Society Investment to Support Union for International Cancer Control’s Initiatives

MONTREAL – August 28, 2012 – The American Cancer Society (ACS), the world’s largest voluntary health organization, announced today that it has committed $2 million towards fighting cancer and impacting cancer control internationally.  This $2 million investment, with the oversight of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), will be directed towards three priority areas – improving access to pain relief worldwide through the Global Access to Pain Relief Initiative (a joint program of UICC and ACS); supporting the work of the NCD Alliance (a network of over 2,000 civil society organizations in more than 170 countries) to make non-communicable diseases a priority on the global health and development agenda; and supporting the development of cancer leaders to build cancer control capacity worldwide. The announcement was made during the UICC’s biennial World Cancer Congress in Montreal, Canada (Aug. 27-30, 2012).

“The American Cancer Society has supported the fight against cancer since our founding nearly 100 years ago, and this investment represents a critical step forward in eliminating global suffering from this disease,” said John R. Seffrin, PhD, chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society and former volunteer UICC president (2002-2006). “This crucial commitment of new and significant financial, executive and staff resources will help address an urgent need as the Society and UICC work together to help save even more lives from cancer worldwide.”            

Cancer causes 1 in 8 deaths worldwide and is rapidly becoming a global pandemic  - without intervention, the number of new cancer cases is expected to double over the next 20 years. The Society recognizes tobacco as the single most preventable cause of death in the world, and is working to reduce the incidence of tobacco-related cancers in low- and middle-income countries with a special emphasis on sub-Saharan Africa. The Society also supports interventions to address women’s cancer, cervical cancer and breast cancer, which have a devastating effect throughout the world.

"The American Cancer Society has been a close partner to UICC and its members for many years, and John Seffrin's personal commitment and leadership in the global challenge posed by cancer has been inspirational to many,” said Cary Adams, chief executive officer of UICC. “The three-year commitment by ACS to partner with UICC in our global programmes brings significant additional resources to the global cancer fight, and it will hopefully encourage others to join us.”

The American Cancer Society is a long-time partner of UICC, supporting its mission to “eliminate cancer as a life-threatening disease for future generations.” The UICC, based in Geneva, Switzerland, is the only global cancer fighting organization with more than 750 member-organizations across 155 countries. The Society will hold activities at this year’s World Cancer Congress, including a global Relay For Life® lunch and learn and luminaria ceremony; a plenary session on connecting globally to reduce inequities; and sessions on topics including food policy interventions to reduce cancer risk, and the use of new media in disseminating cancer information globally. To follow the conference on Twitter, use #cancercongress.

The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end suffering from cancer. As a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers, and with programs in more than 20 countries, we fight for every birthday threatened by cancer in communities worldwide. We save lives by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early; by helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking discovery; and by fighting back by rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying people across the globe to join the fight. As a global leader in cancer research investment, we turn what we know about cancer into what we do. To learn more or to get help, and for more information on our global programs, visit www.cancer.org/global or www.global.cancer.org.

For more information, contact:                                                                                                                                               

Busola Afolabi

American Cancer Society