Public Policy Topics

Prevention Screening

Prevention & Screening

The National Cancer Institute defines cancer prevention simply as “action taken to lower the risk of getting cancer.” Prevention activities may include maintaining a healthy lifestyle, avoiding exposure to known carcinogens, testing for genetic predispositions to certain cancers, and taking preventive medicines or vaccines. Equally important is cancer screening, which allows for early detection and better outcomes.

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Bioethics 4


The field of bioethics focuses on the ethical considerations surrounding medical research, treatment, and care. Cancer bioethics specifically poses questions about the use of new technologies in cancer treatment, the allocation of limited resources, and the ethical implications of genetic testing for cancer risk. The goal of bioethics is to ensure that advancements in cancer care take patient well-being, informed consent, and equitable access to care into consideration.

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Cellular Therapies

Cellular therapies involve the use of cells to treat or prevent diseases. These therapies harness the unique properties of different types of cells to restore, repair, or replace damaged tissues or cells within the body. There are various types of cellular therapies, each with a specific application. With the rapidly changing science and innovation around these treatments and cures, some states have taken the lead on fostering a stronger environment for innovation.

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State Funding for Cancer Research

Federal grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) support cancer research in every state, accelerating discoveries in prevention, early detection, treatment, and care.

Taking note of the positive impact of cancer research funding for patients as well as its role in job creation and economic growth, many states have created their own funding initiatives to support biomedical research.

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Patients’ Bill of Rights

The Cancer Patients’ Bill of Rights is a first-of-its-kind measure outlining the rights that every patient with cancer deserves, including access to specialists, clinical trials, and innovative new treatments.

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Eliminating HPV-Related Cancers

Over 33,000 cancers caused by human papillomavirus (HPV)—including oropharyngeal, cervical, anal, vulvar, penile, and vaginal cancers—are diagnosed annually among men and women in the United States alone.

Through gender-neutral vaccination and evidence-based screening and treatment, the U.S. is poised to eliminate cervical cancer, with other HPV-related cancers to follow.

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Coverage of Routine Care During Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are the bedrock of discovery for promising cancer treatments, and even cures. Without proper access for underrepresented populations, health care disparities persist. Recognizing this, some states have taken action to toward coverage of routine care during clinical trials for all.

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Tobacco Control

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death. Tobacco-related diseases, including lung cancer, are responsible for 480,000 deaths each year in the United States.

Many states are raising the age to purchase tobacco products to 21, but the widespread availability of vaping products and their popularity among young people present new challenges to legislators.

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COVID-19 Vaccination for Patients With Cancer

Research has shown that patients with cancer and cancer survivors are at increased risk of severe illness and death if they are infected with COVID-19. In several states, AACI cancer centers are leading an effort to prioritize these vulnerable populations for the COVID-19 vaccine.

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