"Like a Mammogram For Lung Cancer"
Falmouth, Maine. Maine Cancer Foundation has announced $325,229 in awards to ten Maine organizations, including an effort to bring a revolutionary lung cancer screening technology to four Maine hospitals.
Known as “low-dose CT scans” (LDCT), the new technique allows doctors to detect lung tumors at stage one and stage two, a time when treatments are more effective. Historically, most lung cancers are detected at stage three or four when obvious symptoms appear and the odds successful treatment are slim.
“This new technique is like a mammogram for lung cancer,” said Tara Hill, Executive Director of the Foundation. "The best option is to catch it early. Lung cancer accounts for more than 40% of all cancer deaths in Maine, so we have high hopes for this new screening.” Participating hospitals include St. Mary’s, Maine Medical Center, Central Maine Medical Center and Mercy Hospital.
A nationwide trial of LDCT screening, completed in 2013 by the National Cancer Institute, found a 20% reduction in patient mortality. Lung cancer is the number one cause of death from cancer in Maine, resulting in more deaths annually than breast, colorectal and prostate cancers combined. Early detection of lung cancer, when combined with treatment and support services, has the potential for a dramatic reduction in cancer deaths.
“LDCT has proven so effective in early trials, we expect Medicare/Medicaid to adopt this screening as a part of standard treatment soon,” said Hill. “Maine Cancer Foundation is very pleased to help speed up the roll-out of this process. Maine has the most to gain from better lung cancer screening.”
In addition to screening programs, Maine Cancer Foundation has supported other in-state efforts against lung cancer including laboratory research at The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Husson University and Maine Medical Center. For more information about MCF and lung cancer, visit: http://mainecancer.org/grants/lung
Along with LDCT screening programs, Maine Cancer Foundation’s most recent grant recipients include financial support for programs that tackle cancer prevention, youth tobacco prevention, smoking cessation programs and access to care for rural patients.
Grant recipients include:
- Healthy Community Coalition: Awarded $6,500 for “Conquering Cancer in Franklin County”
- Free ME from Lung Cancer: Awarded $15,000 for “Early Detection”
- Maine Medical Center: Awarded $49,899 for “Extending Lung Cancer Screening to Primary Care”
- Penobscot Community Health Care: Awarded $38,500 for “Gaps-in-Care Cancer Screening”
- St. Mary's Regional Medical Center: Awarded $20,000 for “Lung Cancer Screening Program”
- Maine Primary Care Association: Awarded $30,000 “Patient Navigation Approach to Tobacco Prevention, Assessment & Intervention”
- Maine Public Health Association: Awarded $50,000 for “Reducing Cancer Rates in Maine through Tobacco Education and Policy Development”
- Breathe Easy Coalition of Maine: Awarded $39,140 for “Reducing Tobacco-Related Cancer Prevalence through College and University Policy Change”
- Aroostook County Action Program: Awarded $36,190 for “Tobacco Cessation Boot Camp“
- Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope and Healing: Awarded $40,000 “Tobacco Treatment, Prevention, and Control in Androscoggin County“
About Maine Cancer Foundation:
Maine Cancer Foundation awards grant funding to Maine-based organizations for a variety of cancer related efforts, including laboratory research, cancer prevention, early detection and access to care programs. In 2014, Maine Cancer Foundation awarded over $1.6 million to dozens of cancer researchers and patient care organizations.
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