In 1972, the American Cancer Society (ACS) released their annual report analyzing medical statistics of the previous year in addition to various achievements in the field of cancer research. This report was published in accordance with President Nixon’s signing of the National Cancer Act on December 23, 1971. ACS Chairman Charles Ebersol and President A. Hamblin Letton, discussed the nation’s rising cancer epidemic, including a call for an increased dedication to cancer research. Both expressed gratitude that the National Cancer Act brought fifteen new research facilities to America, as the ACS’s goal for the year was to develop new diagnostic treatment methods. The focus and drive for an increase in treatment options founded itself in the 339,000 cancer-related deaths in 1970. View the report below:
The report discusses implemented plans and funded research intended to achieve a three-part goal. The first part focuses on increasing nationwide programs for the early diagnosis of breast cancer, as well as the introduction of new technology like mammography and thermography. The next section emphasizes a study launched at Mount Sinai to seek out possible cancer-causing materials as well as possible environmental carcinogens. The final piece of the goal includes implementing a “task force’ that is focused on the eradication of uterine cancer via the promotion of Pap tests followed by prompt medical treatment.
In 1971, a nationwide ban on cigarette ads via television and radio went into effect. The ACS’s goal was to raise cancer awareness across the nation, particularly focusing on the effects of cigarette smoking habits among youth, a rising trend that year. In addition, the American Cancer Society donated a record $25,000,000 to cancer research facilities, both for preventative care and for treatment research. Thousands of physicians attended multiple national conferences to discuss the severity of issues like colon and breast cancer.
The ACS also released the results of a study done on the pituitary gland, which releases hormones into the body. Not only were scientists able to create a manmade version of the human growth hormone (HGH), but they were also able to find connections between this hormone and the growth of cancer cells. Similarly, the ACS was able to revisit old studies so it could see the long term effects of those who were exposed to cancer-causing agents years prior.