By the President of the United States of America
Cancer strikes more than three-quarters of a million Americans a year.
Experts no longer believe that the disease occurs spontaneously, but suspect that it is largely a response to environmental factors. If these factors can be eliminated, substantially reduced, or counteracted, then some cancers may be prevented. Therefore, the trend toward increased emphasis in cancer prevention has accelerated during the past year.
Cause and prevention is not the entire story, however. Most cancers have a lengthy latent period. Over the next 20 or more years, the disease will manifest itself in millions of people who already have been exposed to cancer-causing agents. To overcome this serious threat, we must continue to seek effective methods of early detection and treatment.
The National Cancer Program, established in 1971, is being conducted devotedly and on a massive scale by both Federal agencies and non-Federal organizations under the aegis of the National Cancer Institute. A substantial portion of the Institute's research is in such areas as cell and molecular biology, virology, immunology and tumor biology. There is also growing attention and progress in continuing care activities, such as hospices and rehabilitation programs.
Despite our aggressive attack on cancer, current statistics reveal that about 395,000 Americans will die of the disease in 1979. Only through unbending support of cancer research and control can we reverse this trend, and eventually reduce this figure to a minimum.
As a means of giving continued emphasis to the cancer problem, the Congress, by a joint resolution of March 28, 1938 (52 Stat. 148), requested the President to issue annually a proclamation setting aside the month of April as Cancer Control Month.
Now, THEREFORE, I, JIMMY CARTER, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the month of April, 1979, as Cancer Control Month. I encourage the determination of the American people to meet the challenge of this critical health problem. And I ask the medical and health professions, the communications industries, and all other interested citizens to unite in public reaffirmation of our Nation's abiding commitment to control cancer.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this sixth day of March, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and seventy-nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and third.
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 3:12 p.m., March 6, 1979]