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Talking Openly About Cancer Helps You Cope

American Cancer Society's new "Advantage Humans" campaign features Isabel Lopez, a 15-year-old dancer with lymphoma. (American Cancer Society)

­­­­­­­­By Terri Lynn, SouthFloridaReporter.com, Managing Editor, Nov. 5, 2015 – Cancer is one of the most awful words in the human language. We all know someone tackling the disease. When we hear that a loved one, relative, friend or colleague “has cancer” each and every one of us copes with it in our own unique way.

We try to be upbeat, positive, encouraging. Many people try to be too helpful. Other people, retreat and avoid contact.

The most important person in any cancer scenario is the person who has cancer! Period.

According to a dear friend of mine who is tackling cancer, head on, “Family and friends are important. The goal is to beat it and have a positive attitude.”

The American Cancer Society has unveiled a new public awareness campaign, Advantage Humans™, that puts people – and the collective power of our humanity – at the center of a shift to redefine victory over cancer. The aim of the campaign is to channel the range of raw emotions and unique human traits we all share to triumph over cancer every single day.

New Campaign Changes the Conversation

“Our new campaign, Advantage Humans, marks a turning point in the fundamental way we talk about cancer,” said Gary Reedy, CEO, American Cancer Society. “We’re seeing greater advancements in treatments and so much personal success in all the patients, survivors and family members we support, but we know the upper hand against cancer comes down to all of us. As the largest voluntary health organization, we hope that people will help us change the conversation about a disease that is often difficult to express openly and honestly.”

The campaign breaks down barriers in the way the Society talks about cancer. At the center of the initiative is an integrated brand and donation-driving program that profiles a variety of human traits and emotions in a range of inspiring true and portrayed stories of cancer patients, survivors and loved ones. The campaign – the first from DDB Chicago for the Society – is supported via print, outdoor, television, digital and social and will run through December 2015.

“Cancer is more than just one feeling, or one emotion,” Reedy said. “Cancer makes you feel many things, often at the same time – and we want to talk about them. It is mankind’s love, compassion, courage, defiance and the many other traits that we all share that are giving us an upper hand against cancer.”

Some elements of the campaign, shot by renowned photographer and cancer survivor, Sandro Miller, capture real, raw and beautiful images of cancer patients, survivors and loved ones alongside a simple but powerful personal emotion – courage, rage, devotion, and generosity, among others.

These ads will be featured on high-profile billboards in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and Atlanta, ACS’s global headquarters, as well as in major publications including WSJ, Magazine, Forbes, Fortune, People Magazine and The New York Times.

Accompanying the outdoor, print and digital are four 30-second television spots shot by cancer-survivor and director, Rodrigo Garcia Saiz. From the ‘Courage’ a young cancer patient needs to attend her prom to the ‘Anger” a mother feels but does not reveal to her son battling the disease, these spots dramatically bring the range of raw emotions associated with cancer to life.

“The American Cancer Society is only able to support innovation and research, provide 24/7 patient support, and help ease the suffering caused by cancer due to the generous donations of our supporters,” said Daniela Campari, senior vice president of marketing, American Cancer Society.

“The emotions reflected in Advantage Humans are reflected in all of us, and we believe that more people will be inspired to share their time, talent, and treasures. It’s going to take ALL the power our humanity gives us to finally bring cancer to its knees.”

To learn more about the Society’s work in research, prevention and detection, advocacy and service to support patients and caregivers of all ages, at all stages of cancer, visit CANCER

About the American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of 2.5 million volunteers saving lives threatened by every cancer in every community. As the largest voluntary health organization, the Society’s efforts have contributed to a 22 percent decline in cancer death rates in the U.S. since 1991, and a 50 percent drop in smoking rates. We’re the nation’s largest private, not-for-profit investor in cancer research, ensuring people facing cancer have the help they need and continuing the fight for access to quality health care, lifesaving screenings, clean air, and more. For more information, to get help, or to join the fight, call anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit CANCER



Terri Lynn has earned a reputation as a dynamo in the fast-past world of high profile public relations. Her blue chip press contacts, dazzling creativity and unstoppable determination, combined with superb writing skills, consistently produces extensive media coverage for her clients. She’s regarded as tenacious, persuasive and always gets the job done!