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December 23, 1971 - The National Cancer Act is signed

On December 23, 1971, President Richard M. Nixon signs the National Cancer Act This act authorized the NCI Director to:

  • coordinate all activities of the National Cancer Program
  • established national cancer research centers
  • and established national cancer control programs

Excerpts from Committee Views of the National Cancer Act

“There is broad agreement that cancer research has advanced to the stage where a substantial increase in resources and effort could be very productive. There seems to be a consensus among cancer researchers that they are within striking distance of achieving the basic understanding of cancer cells which has eluded the most brilliant medical minds in the world. While it is true that breakthroughs in science are often serendipitous, and cannot be forced, the committee feels that a substantial increase in resources, along with increased organization efficiency will shorten the time necessary to achieve them.”

Over the years, scientists have made major improvements in areas of cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment, including:

  • developing screening tests for more types of cancers
  • creating better surgical and radiation techniques to more successfully and safely treat tumors
  • inventing new and more effective chemotherapy drugs
  • identifying more cancer risks – such as radon and asbestos.

Do you know if you are at risk for lung cancer?


Read the latest in lung cancer research