ACS National Consortium Announces 9 Ways to Increase Cancer Screenings


The American Cancer Society’s National Consortium for Cancer Screening and Care (ACS National Consortium) announced on February 16, 2022, nine recommendations to increase cancer screening levels back to pre-pandemic levels.

Evidence indicates that delayed and missed screenings result in more later-stage cancer diagnoses. Cancer screening rates are still below pre-pandemic levels, and the nation faces significant obstacles getting every citizen caught up with their cancer screenings.

These recommendations from ACS National Consortium come just two weeks after President Biden rekindled our nation’s Cancer Moonshot Initiative to call on all available resources to reduce the death rate from cancer by at least 50% over the next 25 years.

Dr. Arif Kamal, M.D., Chief Patient Officer of the American Cancer Society, issued the ACS initiative by saying, “The development of these recommendations demonstrates that sense of shared responsibility and showcases the cancer-fighting community at its finest – collaborative, undaunted, and relentless in our pursuit of improved and equitable outcomes for all.”

ACS Senior Vice-President, Prevention and Early Detection for the American Cancer Society, Dr. Laura Makaroff, notes that effective cancer screening is essential for our country’s collective public health. But she was quick to point out, “Disruptions in cancer services due to the pandemic are more significantly affecting communities with a disproportionate cancer burden, and the urgency to address our nation’s cancer burden and unequal outcomes is undeniable.”

These nine proposals include:

  1. National Partnerships. Increase the speed and urgency of our collective efforts through coalitions, partnerships, and roundtables to exert positive influence by adopting evidence-based cancer screening interventions and policies.
  2. Coordinated Messaging. Accelerate the development of innovative, coordinated messaging that promotes cancer screening as a public health priority.
  3. Proven Programs. Hasten screening efforts by utilizing proven programs that effectively reach historically excluded and underserved communities.
  4. Quality Measures. Speed up adopting accountability measures, improved quality measures, and institutional goal-setting that prioritize equitable outcomes.
  5. Pandemic-Related Innovations. Hasten COVID-inspired innovations, protocols, and interventions expand equitable cancer screening and care access.
  6. Public Trust. Strengthened public trust in our public and private healthcare systems by using a forward-looking, whole-person approach.
  7. Comprehensive Preparedness Plans. Strengthen our healthcare system and community preparedness plans for health-related disruptions to ensure the continuation of cancer and other chronic disease care.
  8. Transdisciplinary Teamwork. Reinforce transdisciplinary teamwork to support uninterrupted health care delivery.
  9. Document and Understand Cancer Disparities. Become more proactive in collecting and utilizing demographic and social determinants of health data to better enhance our understanding of cancer screening and care outcomes.