American Cancer Society: 100 years of creating more birthdays for cancer patients

April 2013 marks the 100th  year of accomplishments for the American Cancer Society!

Cancer patients, their families and communities have the reason to celebrate and be grateful for what this nationwide voluntary health organization has done for the country for a generation.

The American Cancer Society has withstood the test of time and has brought relief and support for all the cancer patients in the country. More than 1 million people get cancer each year in the United States. For 100 years, the American Cancer Society (ACS) has tirelessly worked hard to save lives and make a world with less cancer and more birthdays. It has also achieved an astonishing amount in terms of research and breakthroughs in cancer.

ASC has funded 46 Nobel Peace Prize laureates including Paul Berg (who made contributions to basic research invlolving nucleic acids), James D. Watson (co-discoverer of the DNA structure), E. Donnall Thomas (co-developer of cell and organ transplantation) and Marion Capecchi (co-discoverer of knockout mice).

"American Cancer Society 100th year"

American Cancer Society celebrates 100th year

What does the American Cancer Society really do?
Dedicated to eliminating cancer, The American Cancer Society was established in 1913 by 15 physicians and businessmen in New York. It was first called “The American Society for the Control of Cancer” (ASCC), but it was changed into American Cancer Society (ACS) in 1945. It is now headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, with more than 900 offices throughout the country, including Puerto Rico.

ACS’s central mission is to destroy cancer, the disease that has affected countless of lives. They call themselves as the “Official Sponsor of Birthdays” because nearly 14 million cancer survivors are celebrating their birthdays this year! That’s sooo much reason to celebrate indeed!

But the 100th year celebration of American Cancer Society is not just about the astounding men and women who had contributions to the fields of science and medicine. It’s not just a celebration of triumph over death for the cancer survivors who made it this far.

This year is also a celebration for the heroism of the equally amazing selfless and nameless people who have helped add years to each cancer patient’s life.

Blood Donors Celebrate!

Cancer patient’s treatments are no complete without the pints of blood donated by blood donors.

"Cancer Patients need Blood Products"

Cancer Patients need Blood Products to survive

Cancer patients need blood products, too. In fact, they use more blood products than patients with other diseases. Blood transfusions are a necessity after going through chemotherapy.

Some cancer treatments, (digestive system cancer, for example) cause internal bleeding, which can lead to anemia. Patients who have anemia may require red blood cell transfusions because they don’t have enough red blood cells to transport oxygen to all of the cells in the body. Leukemia and other forms of cancer that start or spread in the bone marrow may force out the normal blood-making cells and can lead to low blood counts.

Why YOUR Donation Counts

Red blood cell or platelet transfusions are needed in performing major surgery (ie. cancer cell and tumor removal) since blood loss is a common occurrence.  Hospitals have to reschedule operations if compatible donor units are not available for the patient.

Platelets play an important part of a patient’s clotting process. Chemotherapy or radiation can damage the platelet-producing bone marrow cells that’s why platelet transfusions are used by cancer patients whose bone marrow is just not making enough.

Plasma helps make blood clot and contains antibodies which help fight infection. Plasma is given to patients with bleeding disorders because their blood is not clotting the way it should. Cancer patients also use plasma (fresh frozen plasma in particular) if they have Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), a rare and serious disorder in which proteins that control blood clotting over active.

See how blood products are keeping cancer patients a-ok? That’s why the American Cancer Society believes that every birthday you celebrate is a victory as it marks another year that the cancer has not prevailed.

On the American Cancer Society’s website, testimonials of how cancer survivors’ lives have changed after beating the disease give us so much inspiration and zeal to go on living.

These wonderful people, who perhaps had once thought of succumbing to the disease they never asked for, have turned themselves into symbols of hope and faith, and are now advocates of living life a full life.

But let us know that they are not alive today just because of faith and medical miracles. Part of what keeps them going is because someone out there gave what they could, a pint can mean a BIG difference.

Blood donors play a vital role to the lives of the many cancer patients, not just in our country, but all over the world. If you haven’t thought of blood donation before, then maybe this article can convince you to be one now. Statistics show that cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for 13% of all deaths in 2008. The good news is, everyone can take part in helping save lives through blood donation.

Though the research for a cancer cure remains restless in the medical community, ordinary people like YOU can choose to help make a difference in the lives of cancer patients. Whether you know someone battling against any form of cancer or not, you can be a hero by becoming a blood donor! It’s in you to save a life, one pint at a time!

Altogether, we can help create a world of more birthdays!

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