Though cancer has plagued the world for centuries, the early 1900's saw the creation of prominent cancer advocacy associations worldwide and national cancer legislation in the U.S. In March of 1930, the Senate Commerce Committee heard the testimony of prominent cancer researchers, advocates, and other cancer specialists tell stories of cancer incidence in the U.S., explain possible cures, and express the need for a national clinic. The passage of the National Cancer Act of 1937 would be the first time Congress appropriated funds to fight a non-transferable epidemic disease.
The National Cancer Act of 1937 established the National Cancer Institute. It made the NCI the federal government's primary agency addressing research and training needs for the cause, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer. The act also called upon the NCI to assist and promote similar research at other public and private institutions. In 1944, the Public Health Service Act was approved by Congress. This piece of legislation had far reaching effects as it applied to all of the Public Health Service by revising policies; eliminating certain functions of the Public Health Service, and streamlining the Public Health Service administration. It also had very direct effects upon NCI in that it made the institute an operating division of the NIH. Through subsequent amendments approved over the years, the act has addressed other areas of importance to NCI, including The National Cancer Advisory Board ( 14kb), cancer control programs ( 18kb), information dissemination ( 20kb), cancer centers ( 20kb), President's Cancer Panel ( 14kb), construction authority ( 18kb), training authorities ( 20kb) women's cancers, prostate cancer, and the Long Island Breast Cancer Study Project and other studies on environmental factors and cancer. The portions of the original Public Health Service Act pertaining to NCI were amended by the National Cancer Act of 1971 and subsequent Acts, which helped to form the NCI we know today.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services | National Institutes of Health | National Cancer Institute | USA.gov
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