Press Releases

American Cancer Society, “The Official Sponsor Of Birthdays” Celebrates National Cancer Survivors Day®
Jun 5, 2009
Demand for Survivor, Patient, and Caregiver Services is Far Ahead of Last Year

Atlanta 2009/06/05 -On Sunday, June 7, the American Cancer Society will join millions of Americans in honoring cancer survivors as part of the 22nd annual National Cancer Survivors Day. There are more than 11 million cancer survivors living in the United States, and their ranks are growing. It is estimated that by 2020 there will be some 20 million people living with a history of cancer. With increased survivorship comes increased demand for services that help cancer patients get through their treatment.

“The fact that 11 million cancer survivors will celebrate another birthday this year makes clear that together with our supporters, the American Cancer Society is making real progress against this disease,” said Elizabeth T.H. Fontham, M.P.H, Dr.P.H., national volunteer president, American Cancer Society. “Cancer death rates have been dropping steadily since the early 1990s, which translates to some 650,000 lives – and countless birthdays -- saved from cancer during that period.” The Society recently launched its “The Official Sponsor Of Birthdays” campaign, which highlights the ways the organization saves lives and strives to create a world with less cancer and more birthdays. In working toward this goal, the Society provides free and confidential programs and services to address a wide range of needs for anyone facing cancer or caring for a person with cancer, from day-to-day help to the latest information and emotional support. Demand for these critical services has increased nearly 20 percent this year compared to last year, possibly due to increasing numbers of survivors or economic realities of the recession. Some examples of how the Society can help people focus on getting well include: facilitating transportation to doctor appointments and treatments, lodging assistance for treatment away from home, one-on-one guidance from patient navigators, emotional support through its online community (Cancer Survivors Network), and other services to cope with the physical, social, emotional and financial toll cancer can take on their lives. Anyone can access these programs and services by calling 1-800-227-2345 or logging on to

. “National Cancer Survivors Day is the perfect time to let people know about all the ways the American Cancer Society can help during every step of the cancer experience and beyond,” added Dr. Fontham. “Whether you are still on the journey to get well, need tips and tools to help stay well after treatment, want to support our efforts to find cures, or are ready to join with others to fight back against the disease, the American Cancer Society is in your corner.” National Cancer Survivors Day coincides with the American Cancer Society Relay For Life® season. Now in its 25th birthday year, Relay For Life is the world’s largest movement to end cancer. It brings together more than 3.5 million people each year to celebrate the lives of those who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost and fight back against the disease. Relay For Life events are held in more than 5,000 communities throughout the United States and 20 other countries. Since 1985 these events have raised more than $3 billion to help support the Society’s lifesaving mission, while providing an opportunity for cancer survivors to celebrate their experience and make lasting connections with others. National Cancer Survivors Day is organized by the National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation. ### About the American Cancer Society 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, we fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. We save lives by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early; 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 communities worldwide to join the fight. As the nation’s largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contributing more than $3.4 billion, we turn what we know about cancer into what we do. As a result, more than 11 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year. To learn more about us or to get help, call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit

Andrew Becker
Director, Media Relations
American Cancer Society