American Cancer Society

Our Mission

Together with our supporters, the American Cancer Society saves lives and creates a world with less cancer and more birthdays by helping people stay well, helping people get well, by finding cures, and by fighting back. As a global grassroots force of more than 3 million volunteers, we are working every day in every community to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. To learn more or to get help, visit or call 1-800-227-2345.


  • American Cancer Society

    How does smoking affect my risk of developing cancer?

    Yes. Nearly everyone knows that smoking can cause lung cancer, but few people realize it is also a risk factor for many other kinds of cancer too, including cancer of the mouth, voice box (larynx), throat (pharynx), esophagus, bladder, kidney, pancreas, cervix, stomach, and some leukemias. Read More
  • American Cancer Society

    How do I collect samples for a fecal occult blood test?

    Have all of your supplies ready and in one place when collecting samples for a fecal occult blood test (FOBT). Supplies will include a test kit, test cards, either a brush or wooden applicator, and a mailing envelope. The kit will give you detailed instructions on how to collect the specimen. The...Read More
  • American Cancer Society

    Does inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) increase my risk of colon cancer?

    Yes. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, is a condition in which the colon is inflamed over a long period of time. People who have had IBD for many years often develop dysplasia. Dysplasia is a term used to describe cells in the lining of the colon...Read More
  • American Cancer Society

    How much does smoking cost yearly?

    The prospect of better health is a major reason for quitting, but there are other reasons, too.
    Smoking is expensive. It isn't hard to figure out how much you spend on smoking: multiply how much money you spend on tobacco every day by 365 (days per year). The amount may surprise you. Now multiply...Read More
  • American Cancer Society

    What is a low anterior resection?

    Some stage I rectal cancers and most stage II or III cancers in the upper third of the rectum (close to where it connects with the colon) can be removed by low anterior resection. In this operation, the part of the rectum containing the tumor is removed without affecting the anus. The colon is then...Read More
  • American Cancer Society

    How can exercise help fatigue in breast cancer patients?

    Fatigue is a very common symptom in people being treated for cancer. This is often not an ordinary type of tiredness but a "bone-weary" exhaustion that doesn't get better with rest. For some, this fatigue lasts a long time after treatment, and can make it hard for them to exercise and do other things...Read More
  • American Cancer Society

    What are the characteristics of stage I colorectal cancer?

    T1-T2, N0, M0: The cancer has grown through the muscularis mucosa into the submucosa (T1) or it may also have grown into the muscularis propria (T2). It has not spread to nearby lymph nodes or distant sites. Read More
  • American Cancer Society

    What are the possible side effects of chemotherapy?

    Chemotherapy drugs work by attacking cells that are dividing quickly, which is why they work against cancer cells. But other cells in the body, such as those in the bone marrow, the lining of the mouth and intestines, and the hair follicles, also divide quickly. These cells are also likely to be...Read More
  • American Cancer Society

    What happens during a colonoscopy?

    A colonoscopy itself usually takes about 30 minutes, but may take longer if a polyp is found and removed. Before the colonoscopy begins, you will be given a sedating medicine (usually through your vein) to make you feel comfortable and sleepy during the procedure. You will probably be awake, but...Read More
  • American Cancer Society

    How is a core needle biopsy used to diagnose breast cancer?

    A core biopsy uses a larger needle to sample breast changes felt by the doctor or pinpointed by ultrasound or mammogram. (When mammograms taken from different angles are used to pinpoint the biopsy site, this is known as a stereotactic core needle biopsy.) In some centers, the biopsy can be guided...Read More
  • American Cancer Society

    What is a local transanal resection (full thickness resection)?

    This is a type of surgery for rectal cancer that is done with instruments inserted through the anus, without making an opening in the skin of the abdomen. This operation involves cutting through all layers of the rectum to remove cancer as well as some surrounding normal rectal tissue, and then closing...Read More
  • American Cancer Society

    Can vitamins, calcium, and magnesium help prevent colorectal cancer?

    Some studies suggest that taking a daily multi-vitamin containing folic acid, or folate, may lower colorectal cancer risk, but not all studies have found this. In fact, some studies have hinted that folic acid might help existing tumors to grow. More research is needed in this area.
    Some studies...Read More
  • American Cancer Society

    How can I tell if a doctor is a good fit for me?

    Along with finding out your doctor's medical experience and credentials, notice how comfortable you feel with him or her. One way to measure this is to ask yourself these questions.
    • Did the doctor give you a chance to ask questions?
    • Did you feel like the doctor was listening to you?
    • Did the
    ...Read More
  • American Cancer Society

    How does lung cancer begin?

    Lung cancers can start in the cells lining the bronchi (the main breathing tubes) and other parts of the lung such as the bronchioles (smaller breathing tubes) or alveoli (tiny air sacs at the end of the bronchioles).
    Lung cancers are thought to start as areas of pre-cancerous changes in the lung....Read More
  • American Cancer Society

    What is hospice care?

    Hospice care provides humane and compassionate care for people in the last phases of incurable disease so that they may live as fully and comfortably as possible.

    Hospice is a philosophy of care. The hospice philosophy or viewpoint accepts death as the final stage of life. The goal of hospice is to

    ...Read More