Press Releases

American Cancer Society and ACS CAN Honors the Legacy of Cancer Oncologist and Advocate Edith Mitchell, MD, MACP, FCCP, FRCP (London)
Jan 22, 2024

Statement from the American Cancer Society:

PHILADELPHIA, January 22, 2024The volunteers and employees of the American Cancer Society and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) are deeply saddened by the passing of Edith Mitchell, MD, MACP, FCCP, FRCP (London) on January 21, 2024. On behalf of ACS and its network of more than one million volunteers and stakeholders, we extend our heartfelt condolences to Dr. Mitchell’s family and loved ones, and the many patients, colleagues, and friends who were fortunate to experience her fearless leadership and commitment to eliminating cancer disparities.

“Dr. Mitchell was one of a kind. Through her unique lens as a passionate medical oncologist, and as a service-minded, retired military officer, she saw cancer as the enemy, and developed tactical plans to make a difference in the lives of patients,” said Dr. Karen E. Knudsen, CEO of the American Cancer Society and ACS CAN. “She was an unquestioned pioneer in understanding that to win the battle against cancer, biology is not the only enemy— and commenced directly addressing the social determinants of health that too frequently impede survival.” 

As enterprise vice president for cancer disparities at Jefferson Health’s Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, Dr. Mitchell was a trailblazing oncologist, cancer researcher, and advocate who was deeply committed to increasing access to cancer care for all.

Dr. Mitchell recognized the need to not just work in but with communities, and in doing so dramatically increased access to cancer prevention, cancer screening, and cancer cures in her own home city of Philadelphia and beyond. She partnered with the American Cancer Society to develop and implement a health equity ambassador program, which went on to train almost 4,000 ambassadors to provide outreach and cancer education in local communities to help prevent cancer and find cancer early. Countless thousands have directly benefited from the work of Dr. Mitchell, and many more indirectly through her example.

She was also a steadfast champion of convening thought leaders and stakeholders in an effort to address gaps in cancer screening and follow-up care, such as by participating in the American Cancer Society National Roundtables. She was an inaugural steering committee member of the ACS National Breast Cancer Roundtable and delivered the keynote address at the 2022 National Lung Cancer Roundtable Annual Meeting.

Thanks to her efforts, the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson Health was one of the first and only Centers to receive an “Exceptional” rating from the National Cancer Institute for Community Outreach and Engagement, in recognition of Dr. Mitchell’s effective leadership and first in field programs. Together with her colleagues at Jefferson Health and across the scientific and medical community, we mourn her passing. Dr. Mitchell left an indelible mark on the cancer community, and as a result, the world is a better place. Her example will continue to inspire.

For further information: Michele Money-Carson,