State legislators will hear from cancer patients, survivors and advocates next week during the ACS CAN MN Week of ActionThis gathering organized by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) draws cancer advocates from around the state to urge lawmakers to make fighting cancer a priority. Even though the advocates cannot travel to the capitol this year, they will make their voices heard through phone calls and social media.

Over 100 ACS CAN volunteers from across Minnesota, who are still committed to the fight against cancer, will connect with their lawmakers virtually. All of these volunteers have been touched by cancer and will come together to call on lawmakers to listen to their stories and act on their behalf to pass public health policies that will put an end to cancer as we know it.

Volunteers will ask lawmakers to raise the minimum age of sale for all tobacco products to 21 and establish strong retailer compliance and active enforcement measures like retailer licensing and penalties, including license suspension and revocation for retailers caught selling to youth. They will also ask lawmakers to reduce barriers some Minnesota women face when getting treatment for breast and cervical cancer and make sure all Minnesotans are able to participate in clinical trials.

This pandemic has reduced hospital capacity to screen and treat cancer. It has never been more important to prevent Minnesotans from getting cancer and reduce barriers to their treatment when they do.