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Where the Dollars Go

Groundbreaking Discoveries

As the nation’s largest source of private, nonprofit cancer research funds, the American Cancer Society has distributed more than $3.4 billion to researchers since 1946. As of January 1, 2008, research institutions located in all six New England states were the beneficiaries of 136 Society grants totaling nearly $60 million.

We specialize in funding promising researchers early in their careers, when no one else will, and our track record is something we share with pride. Of the researchers chosen for Society funding throughout the years, 42 have gone on to win the Nobel Prize, including 11 from Massachusetts.

Generous donations have allowed the American Cancer Society to be involved in most of the cancer research breakthroughs of the century:

- Lumpectomy and radiation for treatment of breast cancer
- Mammography to screen for breast cancer
- The PAP test for screen for cervical cancer
- Use of tamoxifen to reduce risk of second or first breast cancer
- Development of monoclonal antibodies to treat breast cancer (Herceptin) and lymphoma (Rituxan)
- Discovery of genes for inherited breast and colon cancer
- Knowledge that genetics, diet, lack of exercise, and alcohol abuse can increase a person's cancer risk
- Discovery of cancer-causing oncogenes and tumor-suppressor genes
- Antiangiogenesis - the discovery that tumors could be killed by denying them a blood supply. The discoverer of this was Dr. Judah Folkman, who received funding from the American Cancer Society early in his career. Click here to watch how this discovery changed one young life.

With your continued help, we can fund more critical research projects -- any one of which could result in a breakthrough that would lead to fewer diagnoses and lower the number of deaths from cancer each year.

To learn more about American Cancer Society research program and to view our "Research Then and Now" video, click here.

Reliable Information
At the American Cancer Society, we know that cancer early, at its most treatable stage, can mean the difference between life and death. So we provide screening guidelines, physician education, and engage in public awareness efforts to increase awareness about the importance of cancer screenings and lifestyle changes that can reduce cancer risk. More and more people are beating this disease thanks to early detection through  improved screening and treatment methods.

The American Cancer Society provides information and education, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. For that reason, we have been the most trusted resource for cancer information for nearly a century. More than a million people call our toll-free number every year at 1-800-ACS(227)-2345, and we have more than 20 million visitors to our Web site,, annually. Because cancer impacts people of every race and nationality, the American Cancer Society provides educational materials in a variety of languages.

A Community of Support
Having cancer is hard. Finding help shouldn’t be. That’s why the American Cancer Society offers free programs and services in more than 3,400 communities across the country to ensure that cancer patients and their loved ones do not have to face cancer alone. Below are some of the support services we provide. Call us at 1.800.ACS (227).2345 anytime, day or night, or visit us at to find out what resources are available in your community.

- Transportation assistance to and from treatment through our Road to Recovery volunteers
- Free, temporary lodging at our Hope Lodges for those having to travel far for treatment
- Free wigs and assistance with appearance-related side effects of treatment
- A  support program called Reach to Recovery that connects newly diagnosed breast cancer patients with knowledgeable survivors
- Man to Man, a support group for men with prostate cancer, and their families
- Cancer education classes called I Can Cope
- An online support network called the Cancer Survivors Network
- Retreats for families touched by cancer
- Summer camps for children with cancer

We are committed to connecting people facing cancer with the information, day-to-day help, and emotional support they need in the communities where they live to help them through every step of their cancer journey and to beat the disease.

Read how the American Cancer Society is making a difference in your state:

New Hampshire
Rhode Island

To learn more about the American Cancer Society programs and services, visit or call us anytime, 24/7, 365 days a year at: 1.800.ACS(227).2345.

Everyone has the potential to get cancer … and the potential to help fight it.

For more information about how you can use your voice to help us fight cancer, visit the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network at