Iowa Area Board launches Farmers Against Cancer

The American Cancer Society Iowa Area Board launched the new Farmers Against Cancer (FAC) program to raise awareness for farmers facing cancer. The program is also focused on raising funds and creating corporate partnerships to help combat cancer through advocacy,  research and patient support.

“We want to combat cancer and help Iowans access the screenings and treatments they need to prevent, detect, treat and survive cancer,” said Britt Von Roden, Iowa Area Board member and FAC creator. “When I began thinking about how we could make a difference I immediately thought of the farmers who help this state thrive. I knew we had to rally around this small but mighty community, and I’m inspired thinking about the positive impact we can have collectively on a disease that affects so many.”

Iowa ranks second in most cancer incidence rates following only Kentucky according to the 2024 Cancer in Iowa report from the Iowa Cancer Registry. In particular skin melanoma, often due to excessive sun exposure, will  account for 6.8 percent of new cancers among Iowa residents.

The American Cancer Society has a long-standing history of helping advocate on behalf of those facing cancer. With FAC, three pillars of participation are possible: Funding (F), Awareness (A) and Corporate Partnerships (C) – a great tie-in to the Farmers Against Cancer (FAC) name.

“We’re looking forward to driving patient support, research and advocacy,” said Kevin Kann, Executive Director, Iowa, American Cancer Society. “While hearing the news about yet again being the second state in most new cancer rates is very sad, we’re also encouraged because more people are surviving cancer. Early detection and treatment can make a life-saving difference.”  

For farmers in rural areas with cancer, getting to necessary appointments for treatment can be a big challenge. The American Cancer Society has programs in place to help people access treatment. For example, The American Cancer Society Russell and Ann Gerdin Hope Lodge in Iowa City serves as a free place to stay for cancer patients receiving treatment in Iowa City. In just one year, it is estimated that the Hope Lodge saves guests an average of $1.5 million in hotel costs as the Hope Lodge serves an estimated 1,000 people including patients and caregivers.

“The American Cancer Society is here to support not only those facing cancer, but their loved ones as well,” said Kann. “We’re creating these programs such as Farmers Against Cancer to continue that support. It really is the case of helping one person and, in turn, helping their entire community.”

For more information about the Farmers Against Cancer organization, visit cancer.org/farmersagainstcanceriowa.