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ACS Fight Back Express Bus at Cancer Center in Manchester

May 19, 2008

The Fight Back Express stopped in Concord, Manchester, and Portsmouth today, carrying the mobile message that Americans have the power to fight cancer in this country with their voices. The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is sponsoring the 6-month bus tour to highlight the crucial role elected officials play in supporting laws and policies that help people fight cancer.

The ACS CAN Fight Back Express kicked off in Ohio in early May and will travel across the 48 continental United States through Election Day, Nov. 4. "To effectively treat breast cancer, like other cancers, we must target therapies to complex combination of factors. And that means more research and much more testing of new therapies to more groups of patients, " said Michael Ward, Vice-President of Cancer Services at Norros Cotton Cancer Center. "That's why I am pleased to welcome the Fight Back Express to Norris Cotton Cancer Center at Catholic Medical Center, and to express our support for its effort to raise awareness of the importance of research, and access to cancer prevention and treatment in the fight against cancer."

The ACS CAN Fight Back Express is a mobile action center. At each bus stop, visitors have the chance to share their story with their Members of Congress through the Picture A Cure program and sign a petition to support access to quality health care for all Americans. The ACS CAN Fight Back Express bus tour comes on the heels of a major public education campaign by ACS CAN and the American Cancer Society, raising awareness about the critical need for access to quality healthcare for all Americans.

"If one person can fight cancer, then a nation can rise up and defeat it," said Daniel E. Smith, president of ACS CAN, the sister advocacy organization of the American Cancer Society. "As an essential partner in the fight against cancer, government has a critical role to play in enacting laws and policies that help people battle a disease that will kill an estimated 565,650 people in America this year."

Scientific discovery alone will not defeat cancer. The federal government is by far the largest source of cancer research funding, but years of budget freezes and cuts are impeding progress. Through the bus tour, ACS CAN is working to make cancer a higher national priority by educating the public, lawmakers, candidates, and the media about the importance of government's role in defeating cancer. Cancer patients, survivors, caregivers and their families from across New Hampshire gathered in Concord, Manchester, and Portsmouth to share their experiences with the disease and voice the need to make dramatic changes in this country's approach to cancer.

There has been tremendous progress in the fight against cancer, as evidenced by the reduction in death rates from cancer every year since 1991. But continued success is at risk if Americans don't have access to cancer prevention, early detection and treatment. More than 47 million people in America are uninsured and countless millions more are underinsured, making them more likely to be diagnosed at later stages when cancers are more deadly. Too often, lifesaving cancer prevention, early detection, and treatment programs are not available to patients who need care the most.

ACS CAN supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions for a number of cancer-related issues including:

  • Prevention and Early Detection: Regular screenings can catch cancer at its earliest, most treatable stages, but a federal program that offers low-income and uninsured women screenings for breast and cervical cancer only covers 1 in 5 eligible women. A similar program for colon cancer is now pending before Congress and needs to be created immediately as both of these programs have the potential to save lives.
  • Increased Funding for Cancer Research: Medical research could lead to the discovery of prevention and early detection tools for the most deadly cancers such as pancreatic and ovarian cancer, but federal research funding has been frozen or cut in recent years, threatening progress.
  • Tobacco Control: Tobacco is responsible for approximately one-third of all cancer deaths, but the federal government still lacks the ability to regulate tobacco products. At the state and local level, strong smoke-free policies significantly reduce the number of tobacco-related cancer cases by protecting workers and patrons from the hazards of secondhand smoke.

To find out more about the ACS CAN Fight Back Express and how to make cancer a national priority log on to www.acscan.org.

Click this link to see a video news report of the bus visit.