February 27, 1984
By the President of the United States of America
The news about cancer is getting brighter. While three out of ten Americans will develop cancer at some time in their lives, half of those who do will live five years or more and are considered curable. For some of the major cancers, more than two-thirds of patients survive beyond the five-year mark.
Physicians treating cancer patients anywhere in the United States now have access to the latest treatment information through a new computerized database. In addition, there are in 34 States new community cancer programs which are affiliated with 200 hospitals and designed to bring the latest and best treatment to cancer patients in their own communities.
We have learned more about the basic nature of cancer in the past ten years than in the entire history of science. The new technologies developed through research now give us the tools to examine the intricate steps that occur when cancer begins to form. We expect these tools to give us even better diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.
The best news of all about cancer today is that we are developing clear ideas about how to prevent it. Cancer researchers believe that two-thirds of all cancers in this country are linked with our lifestyles so we can now make daily choices that may decrease our odds of developing cancer. The single most important step which can be taken is to avoid smoking. Evidence also shows that some dietary components may not only prevent cancer, but even act to reverse a cancer-causing process which has already begun.
Thus we are reaping important benefits from the billions of dollars and the years of work this country has invested in the all-out effort to control cancer. With the continued advance of medical science to improve treatment and prevention, it may be possible to reduce by fifty percent the national death rate from cancer by the year 2000.
In 1938, the Congress of the United States passed a joint resolution (52 Stat. 148; 36 U.S.C. 150) requesting the President to issue an annual proclamation setting aside the month of April as ``Cancer Control Month.''
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the month of April 1984 as Cancer Control Month, 1984. I invite the Governors of the fifty States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the appropriate officials of all other areas under the United States flag to issue similar proclamations. I also ask that health care professionals, the communications industry, and all other interested persons and groups unite during this appointed time to reaffirm publicly our Nation's continuing commitment to control cancer.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this 27th day of Feb., in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and eighth.
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 4:28 p.m., February 27, 1984]