ACSCAN: Patient Advocacy and Lobbying Always Begin With a Story

Out of Patients with Matthew Zachary

ACSCAN: Patient Advocacy and Lobbying Always Begin With a Story

November 10, 2020

ACSCAN: Patient Advocacy and Lobbying Always Begin With a Story

On the show today – Pam Traxel, Vice President For Alliance Development at the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, known in acronym-land as ACSCAN. Hunkered down deep in Washington DC’s beltway, ACSCAN is the dedicated policy arm of The American Cancer Society — and as appendages go, it’s a good choice. We all need to strong-arm things from time to time to elicit even the slightest semblance of progress and justice in this country. ACSCAN’s mission is to ensure that elected leaders make ending suffering and death from cancer a top priority. As opposed to, I guess, ending suffering from too many Pumpkin Spice Latte commercials, which, while not apples to apples, is, in the broadcaster’s opinion, an egregious affront to the laws of hot beverage nature that should be toned down just a bit. The key to getting anything done in Washington — at least as far as getting policies enacted to help people facing cancer — is advocacy; more so, the stories of those advocates who, with one well-spooled yarn, can convince a lawmaker to sign on to a bill that could Schoohouse Rock itself into becoming a law that could help millions of people suffer less. Advocacy and lobbying — when done the right way — always begin with a story. One person’s story. And the sacred art of telling your story can quite literally change the cancer world forever. So, while policy might be the end game for change, never forget that whether you number in the hundreds for a Hill Day or lobby a staffer as an army of one, advocacy works. Advocacy matters. Advocacy forever. Enjoy my chat with Pam Traxel. Learn more at

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