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Prevent Cancer Foundation

$150 screens one woman for breast cancer

Prevent Cancer Foundation

The mission of the Prevent Cancer Foundation is saving lives across all populations through cancer prevention and early detection.  Our vision is to Stop Cancer Before It Starts!

The Prevent Cancer Foundation is the only U.S. nonprofit organization solely devoted to cancer prevention and early detection.

When the Prevent Cancer Foundation was founded in 1985, the concept of cancer prevention and early detection was not widely embraced by the medical community or the general public.  Today, cancer prevention and early detection are at the forefront of reducing cancer diagnoses and death.  We have played a key role in changing this perception.

Since 1985, the Prevent Cancer Foundation has carried out is mission in four key areas:

  • Funding research that helps increase insight into the disease and allows us to understand how to prevent cancer or detect it early when it can be more successfully treated;
  • Educating people about how they can prevent cancer and detect it early through healthy lifestyle choices, vaccinations and medical screenings;
  • Reaching out to communities through programs that allow us to fund nationally and act locally.  By empowering those who know their communities best, we are able to lend a hand to implement life-saving cancer prevention and early detection programs that benefit all populations, especially the medically underserved; 
  • Engaging lawmakers and regulators through education and advocacy to promote the enactment of laws and regulations that support cancer research and prevention. We amplify our impact by working both individually and as part of a community of grassroots advocates and advocacy organizations.

The Foundation has invested more than $142 million in support of local and national programs in our effort to save lives through cancer prevention and early detection.


The Prevent Cancer Foundation supports research in cancer prevention and early detection and has provided funding for important research grants or fellowships at some of the most prestigious academic institutions and medical centers across the country. The goal of the Prevent Cancer Foundation’s Research Program is to identify and fund innovative projects with potential to make substantial contributions to cancer prevention/early detection. Of particular significance is the Foundation’s support of early-career scientists. Research funding from the Foundation has contributed to several major developments in cancer prevention and early detection and provided startup funds to many successful prevention researchers.


Think About The Link™

Think About the Link™ is a multi-year prevention education campaign advancing awareness of the connection between cancer and viruses.

Hundreds of thousands of people in the world suffer and die from cancers caused by viruses and millions more are infected with the viruses that cause them. Many people are unaware that a link exists between certain viruses and cancer. As a result, they do not take steps that can prevent and/or treat certain viruses, and ultimately, cancer.

Think About the Link™ aims to raise awareness of the link between viruses and cancer with the ultimate goal of preventing cancer. The campaign is focused on three viruses linked to cancer, including human papillomavirus (HPV), hepatitis B, and hepatitis C.

The goal of Think About the Link™ is to increase screening for the viruses, increase immunization rates for HPV and hepatitis B and raise awareness of and access to treatment options available for hepatitis C.

Congressional Families Cancer Prevention Program

This bipartisan group of spouses of members of the U.S. Congress, Executive Branch and Supreme Court spreads the message of cancer prevention and early detection to people across the country. A signature program of the Prevent Cancer Foundation, Congressional Families Cancer Prevention Program has been ongoing since 1991 and is currently led by Lisa McGovern, the spouse of Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts. Congressional Families hosts an annual awards luncheon on Capitol Hill, which honors spouses, members of Congress, community leaders, sports figures and prominent individuals in the media who have helped raise cancer awareness nationwide.

Buddy Check 9

Since 1993, the Prevent Cancer Foundation has partnered with Washington, D.C.’s CBS affiliate, WUSA-TV9, to educate women of all ages to be aware of their breast health and to perform monthly breast self-exams. The message is delivered through public service announcements and feature stories. Its host and spokesperson is Foundation board member and local anchorwoman Andrea Roane.


The Dialogue for Action™ on Cancer Screening and Prevention

The Dialogue for Action is an annual national conference committed to realizing the lifesaving potential of cancer screening for all communities. Dialogue convenes a diverse group of cancer-screening stakeholders: primary-care clinicians, medical specialists, survivors and advocates, researchers and health educators, representatives of the biopharmaceutical and diagnostic industries, third-party payers and staff from public health agencies on the national, state and county levels. The Dialogue focuses on all mandated guidelines-driven cancer screenings (colorectal, cervical, breast and lung cancer screenings) and issues related to other cancer screenings (such as prostate, oral and skin). Dialogue is seen as the “can’t miss” conference on cancer screening, and it continues to provide participants with concrete tools and effective strategies for use in both clinical and public health settings.

State Level and Tribal Dialogues - From 2002 – 2008, the Foundation implemented Dialogue projects in colorectal cancer (CRC) screening in 17 states and 10 American Indian/Alaska Native communities.  These projects offered unique opportunities for a state or tribe to move CRC screening forward by developing vigorous collaborations among public, nonprofit and for-profit screening stakeholders, all committed to decreasing morbidity and mortality from CRC. Working within a state’s or tribe’s comprehensive cancer control plan, a Dialogue project identified collaborative strategies to increase screening, provided tools that participating groups needed to take action and stimulated the building and maintaining of statewide or tribal partnerships.

Annual Quantitative Imaging Workshop (formerly the Lung Cancer Workshop)

These annual meetings bring together oncologists, surgeons, pulmonologists, radiologists, and computer and imaging scientists, along with representatives of federal agencies and the pharmaceutical and diagnostic imaging industries to explore the use of spiral CT imaging as a tool for detecting not only lung cancer, but also chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cardiovascular disease, the three leading causes of death in the US.  Now that this screening tool is widely recommended and available for those at high risk, the number of lung cancers, as well as cases of COPD and cardiovascular disease diagnosed in early stages should increase, providing an opportunity for innovative clinical trial design using imaging as a biomarker.


Community Grants Program

The Prevent Cancer Foundation supports educational programs or services focused on cancer prevention and early detection, especially those in underserved communities across the United States. Annual funding priorities reflect the Foundation’s goals and direction.

The Foundation has provided support for a rich diversity of activities to encourage cancer prevention education and screening. Funded projects include educational outreach in Indian Country, a website focused on awareness of male breast cancer, distribution of sun hats for babies in Arizona, “edutainment” outreach of the “Cancer Queens! A Musical Revue” for cancer awareness in Tennessee and breast and cervical cancer education and screening to uninsured women in many states across the country.

¡Celebremos la Vida! (Let’s Celebrate Life!)

Now in its 23rd year, ¡Celebremos la Vida! is a trusted breast and cervical cancer education and screening program for medically underserved Latinas over the age of 40 in metro Washington, D.C., (including suburban Maryland and Virginia) and McHenry County, Illinois. The purpose of the program is to provide life-saving services to women who, because of language barriers, lack of insurance and residency status, are unable to access other programs.

The strength of Celebremos comes from its strong partnerships with medical and community-based groups, including the Spanish Catholic Center and Georgetown University Lombardi Cancer Center in metro Washington, D.C., and the Family Health Partnership Clinic in Woodstock, IL. Through these partnerships, Celebremos provides free education and screening, and all necessary medical follow-up and treatment are provided for free or at a greatly reduced cost.  

In 2012, in response to a community need for improved outreach efforts, the Foundation designed, developed and pilot tested a project entitled Campeonas contra el cáncer de seno (Champions Against Breast Cancer). The Campeonas training prepares Latinas, who are age 40 or older, have been screened for breast cancer and are committed to advocating for women’s health, to encourage their friends and family to be screened.  

The Mammovan - Mobile Mammography Program