The American Cancer Society is a health organization that is recognized throughout the nation and functions on a community based voluntary basis. It is aimed at eliminating cancer from patients by helping in prevention of the disease, reducing the suffering of patients who already have contracted cancer, saving the lives of those who can be saved, providing thorough research, advocacy, education and service. There are approximately thirteen geographical divisions in the society that consist of both lay as well as medical volunteers. These volunteers work in over 3500 medical units all across Puerto Rico and the United States. The headquarters are located however in Atlanta, Georgia.
15 physicians as well as entrepreneurs in New York City initially set up the American Cancer Society in 1913. Back then the enterprise was called American Society for the Control of Cancer. The name that it is presently called was adopted only recently in 1945. George E Durant from Brooklyn in New York designed the sword symbol, which the American Cancer Society adopted in 1928. According to him, the handle demonstrated by two serpents show the two points of scientific and medical focus on the enterprises’ mission and the sword stands for the “crusading spirit” of this movement for controlling the spread of cancer.
The kind of work that the American Cancer Society encompasses is getting grants for researchers, organizing advertising campaigns in the interest of public health, running projects like the Great American Smoke Out and the Relay for Life, operating thrift stores so funds can be raised for the functioning of the society. The important endorsements of the American Cancer Society include a 4000-mile motorbike ride from San Francisco to Baltimore in order to raise funds for the society’s Hope Lodge as well as the Hopkins 4K for Cancer program. In 1994, an industry publication by the name of Chronicle of Philanthropy brought out the results and rankings of the largest poll of non-profit and charitable organizations. This was conducted by Nye Lavalle & Associates to test the credibility as well as popularity of the NGOs functioning in the States. In this statistical study, the American Cancer Society was shown as ranking tenth from among at least 100 charitable institutes in America.
The American Cancer Society has provided with funds for 44 Nobel Prize laureates of whom Mario Capecchi, James D Watson, Paul Berg, Oliver Smithies, Walter Gilbert and E Donnall Thomas are a few. Also in the year 1991, the published research produced by the society in the Journal of the American Medical Association brought to notice that children aging from 3 years to 6 years of age, could recognize the cartoon character for RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company, Joe Camel very easily as being Mickey Mouse. Thus the American Cancer Society does not only deal with the medical aspect of treating and preventing cancer, but also makes immense contributions in the field of corporate responsibility, media awareness and child education. For this contribution to society, the American Cancer Society has emerged to be one of the most renowned non-profit organizations in the world today.