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Proclamation 6664—Cancer Control Month, 1994

April 07, 1994

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

April 1994 has been designated Cancer Control Month. For the past 56 years, the President of the United States, at the request of the Congress, has designated one month each year to focus public attention on the progress that we, as a Nation, have made with regard to this devastating disease. This Proclamation continues to be a national statement of hope that one day we will understand, control, and eliminate cancer.

It would be hard to exaggerate the toll cancer exacts. Each year more than 1 million Americans are diagnosed with cancer, and nearly one-half that many die of the disease. We face an awesome challenge in controlling cancer—one that can be met only through research and the implementation of research results.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women and epitomizes the challenge of our mission to protect and improve women's health. Breast cancer is widely prevalent and takes a tragically large toll on women's lives. Yet there are realistic prospects for its eventual prevention and cure. The strategies used to foster the translation of scientific knowledge into clinical innovations toward eradicating breast cancer also serve as prototypes for the treatment of other malignancies.

Likewise, prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer among men and the second leading cause of male cancer deaths. Researchers continue to direct their efforts toward understanding the biology of this disease in order to design more effective therapies, search for more effective screening methods, and ultimately, prevent its occurrence.

The National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, and other organizations are intensifying the effort in cancer prevention research. Programs to identify environmental and occupational causes of malignancy continue to be at the forefront of this research. Current studies address the links between cancer risks and exposure to pesticides, proximity to sources of environmental toxins and occupational carcinogens, air pollution, drinking water contaminants, and electromagnetic radiation.

We now know that every one of us can join the fight against cancer. The role played by the public is just as important as the role played by the most highly trained scientists. Each of us can adopt a lifestyle that lowers our chances of getting cancer.

In cancer control, nothing is more important than understanding and striving to reduce the effects of smoking, implicated in at least one-third of all cancer deaths each year. Some 50 million Americans smoke—most are adults, but a significant number are teenagers. Smokers bear the brunt of our annual national tragedy of more than 200,000 cases of lung and mouth cancers and more than 100,000 cases of pancreatic, kidney, and bladder cancers. No new drug—no new prevention or screening technique—would strike as powerful a blow in our fight against cancer as the single decision by millions of smokers to quit their habit once and for all.

Thanks to our progress in cancer research, more than one-half of the people diagnosed with cancer survive their disease 5 years or more. Such survival rates were not even a whispered hope for cancer patients just one generation ago. The years ahead hold promise of important advances in the prevention and treatment of cancer. Together we will continue to work so that fewer people will have to suffer from cancer and its aftermath, so that fewer lives will be jeopardized, and so that fewer people will lose their loved ones to this disease.

In 1938, the Congress passed a joint resolution (52 Stat. 148; 36 U.S.C. 150) requesting the President to issue an annual proclamation declaring April as "Cancer Control Month."

Now, Therefore, I, William J. Clinton, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim April 1994 as Cancer Control Month. I invite the Governors of the 50 States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Mayor of the District of Columbia, and the appropriate officials of all other areas under the American flag, to issue similar proclamations. I also ask health care professionals, private industry, advocacy groups, community groups, insurance companies, and all other interested organizations and individual citizens to unite during this month to publicly reaffirm our Nation's continuing commitment to controlling cancer.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this seventh day of April, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and eighteenth.

Signature of William J. Clinton


William J. Clinton, Proclamation 6664—Cancer Control Month, 1994 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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