The American Cancer Society recently awarded $9.2 million in grants to over 500 health systems and organizations nationwide to provide transportation and lodging assistance to people with cancer during treatment. The grants will fund 830,000 transportation and lodging services for 81,500 eligible patients.

Access to high-quality cancer treatment impacts cancer outcomes. A lack of the transportation and lodging needed to receive quality care can lead to missed appointments, treatment interruptions, and delays in follow up care. In a 2023 Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI) study, American Cancer Society researchers found that delayed care due to lack of transportation is associated with increased emergency room use and mortality risk among adults with and without cancer history.

“Transportation obstacles or the cost of a hotel room should not be barriers that determine the survival of those needing cancer treatment,” said Dr. Arif Kamal, chief patient officer for the American Cancer Society. “Providing funding to health systems and organizations across the country to deliver the direct assistance needed helps to fill these equity gaps and improves cancer outcomes.”

The American Cancer Society believes all people should have a fair and just opportunity to live a longer, healthier life free from cancer regardless of how much money they make, skin color, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability status or where they live. In addition to providing transportation and lodging funding to health systems and organizations, the American Cancer Society runs a Road To Recovery program that provides free rides to and from treatment and over 30 Hope Lodge communities that provide a free place to stay during treatment.

This press release was originally published May 14, 2024, by the American Cancer Society. It is republished with permission.