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Inadequate Health Coverage Focus of American Cancer Society Campaign

September 17, 2007

Pierre, SD – For the first time in its 94 year history, the American Cancer Society is focusing its entire marketing budget on an aggressive campaign to address cancer's high toll on the uninsured. Jennifer Stalley, of the American Cancer Society's South Dakota office, says inadequate and unaffordable health coverage are major issues for families battling cancer.

"For someone with access to adequate insurance, chances are good that any cancer will be discovered at an early enough stage to provide the best treatment options. When one doesn't have access, the chances of survival are not as good."

Stalley points to an American Cancer Society survey conducted last year, which shows one in four South Dakota families dealing with cancer used most or all of their savings. These findings applied even to one in five families with insurance.

"I think it's important, not only to have a discussion about who's uninsured, but also whether you have adequate coverage. Nine percent of South Dakota's population is uninsured, with one-third of those having been without health insurance for a significant amount of time. The longer you go without insurance, the greater chance you're not having preventative screenings so cancer can be caught at an earlier stage."

For additional information about the efforts of the American Cancer Society, visit its Web site,

David Law/John Robinson, Public News Service - SD