Statement on Gov. Cuomo's Budget Address

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Statement from Donald Distasio, CEO, American Cancer Society of NY & NJ, regarding Gov. Cuomo’s proposed 2011-2012 state budget.

“A money-saving investment in programs that prevent and detect cancer early is a wise fiscal strategy in challenging times. In this tough budget climate, it’s hard to see value through dollar signs, but Gov. Cuomo has shown that he clearly understands the NYS Cancer Services Program and NYS Tobacco Control Program have high worth by protecting them in his budget proposal.  

The NYS Cancer Services Program provides no cost breast, cervical and colon cancer screening to uninsured and underinsured New Yorkers.  The NYS Tobacco Control Program helps people quit smoking by providing counseling and free nicotine replacement therapy.  It also keeps kids from ever starting to smoke through community-based anti-tobacco interventions.  Both of these programs are key to preventative health and save healthcare dollars – the screening program catches cancer early when it’s most treatable and least costly and the tobacco control program prevents cancer, as well as heart and lung disease.

The American Cancer Society is pleased that Gov. Cuomo recognizes the significance of these programs and we look forward to working with the Senate and Assembly to assure that the governor’s proposal remains intact in the final budget.”

*In his proposed budget, the Governor funds the NYS Tobacco Control Program at $58,415,000, the same level as the current fiscal year.  The proposed budget funds the NYS Cancer Services Program at $26,773,750, a cut of $650,000 from the current year's budget, that the Governor says will not come from clinical services.

About the American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end suffering from cancer. As a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers, we fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. We save lives by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early; helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking discovery; and by fighting back by rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying communities worldwide to join the fight. As the nation’s largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contributing more than $3.4 billion, we turn what we know about cancer into what we do. As a result, more than 11 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year. To learn more about us or to get help, call us any time, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit

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