American Cancer Society shares research progress

A fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, the annual Relay for Life traditionally attracts countless Twin Towns Area residents. The 2020 ceremony will be a public event like the 2019 ceremony, above, but this year, it's online only.

For nearly 107 years, the American Cancer Society has been working to save lives, celebrate lives and lead the fight for a world without cancer.

Earlier in March, the society provided its annual report on the status of cancer. The report is made possible through ongoing research of cancer rates, death rates and trends in the United States. ACS also works to fund updated research on cancer characteristics.

“The death rate from cancer in the United States is still falling among men, women and children,” ACS stated. “During 2013-2017, cancer death rates fell an average of 1.5 percent per year. However, rates of new cancers diagnosed from 2012-2016 remained about the same in men and increased slightly among women.”

“Heroes of Hope,” the 2020 Richland-Wilkin Relay for Life, is scheduled as a virtual event for Saturday, April 4. A fundraiser for ACS, the annual Relay for Life traditionally attracts countless Twin Towns Area residents.

Every hour from 3-10 p.m. on Saturday, April 4, participants are asked to log onto Facebook and Instagram. The Facebook page, “Relay For Life of Wahpeton, ND/Breckenridge, MN,” is located at The Instagram page, “AmericanCancerSocietyND,” is located at

“Participants are encouraged to comment on videos as well as share their own videos and pictures,” Daily News previously reported. “There will be new activities and topics every hour.”

Relay for Life’s goal for 2020 is raising $100,000. Funds will be raised through August 31. The website for team registration and individual donations is located at

“We’ve raised $24,558.18,” the website stated Wednesday, March 25.

In 2019, Daily News took a closer look at how Relay for Life funds research and individual efforts for cancer patients. Approximately $406 million, raised by all Relay for Life events, went toward potentially life-saving cancer research grants.

“Over 1.2 million calls and chats were able to be received by patients and caregivers who sought information and support,” Daily News previously reported. “A total of 456 thousand nights of free lodging were provided to patients at Hope Lodge.”

More than $4.9 billion has been invested in cancer research since 1946, ACS stated. The goal is to find more — and better — treatments, uncover factors that may cause cancer and improve cancer patients’ quality of life.

ACS’ recent projects include a study of the molecule genetics and biochemistry of cancer. The program looks at genes and how their alterations affect cancer.

“Of particular interest is the examination of the molecule involved in cancer (including proteins, nucleic acids, lipids and carbohydrates) and how their activities affect these diseases,” ACS stated.

Another study is looking at the nature of cancer cells themselves. There is a focus on how cells regulate when to grow, when to divide and when to die. Researchers are seeking to understand how cells create an identity.

“We attack cancer from every angle,” ACS stated. “We provide everything from emotional support to the latest cancer information for those who have been touched by cancer. And we do it all 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

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