Founded in 2004, the Next Generation Choices Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity known more widely as “Less Cancer.” The organization works to educate the public, create proactive public policies, and offer continuing education credit to physicians, nurses, and public health professionals regarding cancer, over 50% of which are preventable.
Our first and most important benchmark is our name: Less Cancer signifies a new paradigm for addressing cancer, one focused on prevention. This is a departure from previous treatment-focused approaches, which focus on beating, conquering, or curing cancer.
Bill Couzens, Founder, Less Cancer
Educate. Advocate. Participate.
• Reaching the Public
• Advocating for Cultural and Policy Changes
• Participating in the Public Discussion about Cancer
Reaching the Public
Less Cancer pioneered the use of Web and social media for cancer prevention education, connecting evidence-based education with web users. The Less Cancer Journal and Less Cancer.com blogs are a public platform and collaboration of global users, public health advocates, scientists, physicians, and public health professionals, which together reach regular followers in over 30 countries.
We understand how to leverage the immediacy of new media to address the urgency of the current increase of cancer. More importantly, we seek to make cancer prevention literacy a mainstream topic that emphasizes the need to stop preventable cancers at the source.
In addition to online media, Less Cancer communicates its mission of cancer prevention via direct “offline” engagements with health care systems, community groups, health-affected constituencies, schools, universities and government and non-government organizations. These engagements have included fundraisers, roundtables, and panel discussions.
Advocating for Cultural and Policy Changes
Less Cancer has been actively developing strategies and platforms for public health education. Our education strategy includes developing risk-reduction strategies, shifting community or corporate practices and products, building alliances with business and industry, and
creating options for healthy choices.
We advocate for cultural changes and policies that protect the public, especially those who cannot advocate for themselves, like children. Since our founding, we have been instrumental in teaching consumers about local and organic foods. We have been a leader in issues concerning cancer risks, such as obesity.
Our work on health and environment spans a wide range of issues, including specific contaminants, pollution sources, and healthy lifestyle choices, such as diet, exercise, and nutrition. While we work to protect all communities, our approach is particularly relevant to at-risk populations, such as children, low-income communities, and workers. Less Cancer’s ultimate goal is to raise awareness of prevention and reduce incidences of diagnosed cancer in all people.
Less Cancer has addressed social and health issues around prevention, including:
Participating in the Public Discussion about Cancer
Our specific public outreach projects have included:
- Less Cancer was the driving force behind Cancer Prevention Days in Virginia, New Hampshire, Michigan, and New York as well as National Cancer Prevention Day, a resolution first introduced in the U.S. Congress in 2012 by Rep. Steve Israel of New York.
- We produce the National Cancer Prevention Day Workshop as part of National Cancer Prevention Day on Capitol Hill. The workshop is developed in collaboration with several universities and leading experts as well as a bipartisan Cancer Prevention Caucus in the U.S. Congress, inspired by our organization.
- The University of Virginia School of Medicine Continuing Medical Education in particular facilitates our work by providing Continuing Medical Education credits on cancer prevention topics to physicians and nurses.
- We produced the “Less Cancer Minutes” and Healthy Town video series. “Healthy Town Detroit” was played twice for lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
- Next Generation Choices Foundation/Less Cancer provides at-risk communities with informational materials that aim to protect people and the places they live, work and play. The Next Generation Choices Foundation, and specifically the Less Cancer Campaign raises awareness that ultimately works to protect human health and the environment.
- Less Cancer works closely with our partners to identify and satisfy their ongoing programming needs in a timely and relevant manner.
- We aim to partner with additional institutions to develop stronger, more effective collaborative programing.
- We will continue to leverage our strength in synergizing programming with a global effort on internet and mobile technology and social networks.