Did you know that over half of the oncologists in Maine are in Cumberland County?
As one of the most rural states in the country, many cancer patients live far away from treatment providers, and access to care may become a significant barrier to recovery.
For over a decade, Maine Cancer Foundation has provided funding for transportation programs that offer assistance to cancer patients statewide. But we believe there is more we can do.
Here are the big questions we've been asking:
Thank you to Koch Aerial Imaging for the beautiful footage!
The month of June is dedicated to HPV and cervical cancer awareness. In our guest blog series, Jessica Reed, Quality Improvement Manager at Maine Quality Counts, shares important facts and information about the HPV vaccine.
Stephanie is a cervical cancer survivor and Caroline is the Child Health Program Manager at MaineHealth. Both are advocates for the HPV vaccine.
Your generous support makes cancer prevention possible for Mainers. Thank you!
Challenge Cancer 2020 is our visionary initiative to cut cancer rates in Maine by 2020. Our goal for a Maine less burdened by cancer requires active participation from people and communities across the state. Our success depends on inviting key stakeholders to the table to share strategy, tactics, and experience.
We recently sat down with Caroline Zimmerman, Program Manager for Child Health at the Center for Health Improvement at MaineHealth. Caroline also serves on Maine Cancer Foundation’s Board of Directors, co-leads the prevention and early detection workgroup, and has participated in several grant review committees.
Two years ago, in the middle of a coastal Maine summer, Stephanie Ferrie was training for a triathlon. An avid runner, she chalked up the slight changes in her body, including unusual discharge, as merely hormonal. Summer turned to fall and her symptoms persisted. As the whispers of her body grew louder, she finally made an appointment with her OB-GYN. A mother of four, Stephanie never had an abnormal pap smear or tested positive for HPV. “My doctor put the speculum in and saw a mass on my cervix, 3 centimeters, right there,” said Stephanie.
The biopsy revealed cervical cancer caused by HPV. Fortunately, the resulting PET scan showed the tumor was only in her cervix. The choice now turned to the course of treatment. Guided by a close friend who faced similar choices many years ago, Stephanie made the decision for a radical hysterectomy (removal of the uterus and cervix). The final pathology showed early metastasis to a lymph node in her groin, which resulted in an additional five low-dose chemotherapy sessions and 28 rounds of radiation. “[My friend] made me feel so good about it that I wasn’t even scared. Plus, my cervix was a pain with four kids anyway!” she joked.
The crisp fall air turned to the darkening days of winter and six weeks of treatment for cervical cancer. “It was all very surreal,” said Stephanie. After the hysterectomy, chemotherapy followed to desensitize cells in preparation for radiation. “Tuesdays were four hours of uninterrupted girlfriend time,” Stephanie reflected. “Every week [of chemotherapy] was just for me.”
We are currently accepting applications for two open grant areas: patient navigation and general operating grants.
Maine Cancer Foundation is currently accepting grant applications for three-year capacity-building grants to create or expand navigator positions that will identify and eliminate barriers that prevent individuals from getting high quality cancer care in Maine.
Please see below or visit www.mainecancer.org/apply-grant for more information and instructions on how to apply online!