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MaineHealth Launches Cancer Resource Center Site
Encourages Colorectal Cancer Screening
Cancer Causes 25 Percent of All Maine Deaths
Comprehensive New Site Offers Statewide Resource

(Portland, ME) March 1, 2011 -  MaineHealth, the state's largest integrated healthcare delivery network, announced the launch of the MaineHealth Cancer Resource Center website, a comprehensive resource on all aspects of cancer including prevention, diagnosis, treatment and survivorship.

Cancer accounts for 25 percent of all deaths in Maine, or about 3,000 people each year. The high death rate is attributed to several factors including Maine's high rate of poverty (resulting in a lack of access to healthcare services, including early cancer detection and prevention) and high rates of tobacco use and obesity. Increasing access to the highest quality education and information - for all Maine people - is one of the most effective ways to reduce cancer across the state.

The Cancer Resource Center website is the only comprehensive regional cancer resource connecting Maine people to clinical and support services in their local areas. The site provides access to the most up-to-date, credible information, including details on specific cancers and ways to reduce the risk of cancer. The site also includes:

  • A complete list of doctors, hospitals and support services searchable by specialty and zip code.
  • A calendar of events featuring support groups, classes and screening events searchable by zip code.
  • Access to a professional health educator, available by phone or e-mail, to help answer questions and find resources.
  • Local information on cancer clinical trials. 
  • Easy-to-use tools including a colorectal cancer risk assessment.
  • Decision aids to help patients, families and doctors understand treatment options.

Cancer patients and their families, in addition to doctors and other healthcare providers throughout Maine were involved in the website development. The site will continue to add features including interactive tools, podcasts, videos and a section for healthcare providers.

March is colorectal cancer awareness month - MaineHealth encourages screening

Colorectal cancer - cancer of the colon or rectum - is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths, for men and women, in the United States. In 2009, 900 Mainers were diagnosed with colorectal cancer and 260 died. Colorectal cancer screening saves lives. MaineHealth encourages people 50 or older, or with a family history of colon polyps, colon cancer or other related cancers, to talk with their healthcare providers about getting screening for colorectal cancer.

Why get screened?

  • Screening tests find colorectal cancer early, and can save your life.
  • There are often no symptoms, so it's important to get screened.
  • The risk of developing colorectal cancer increases with age - more than 90 percent of cases occur in people 50 or older.

Who should get screened?

  • If you have a family history of colon polyps, colon cancer or other related cancers, or if you're 50 years of age or over, ask your healthcare provider about which screening is right for you.
  • Encourage your friends and family to get screened, too.  

What are the screening methods?

  • There are several screening methods - including colonoscopy and a test you can do at home (the fecal immunochemical test - or "FIT"). Ask your provider which screening is best for you.

Want to learn more?

About MaineHealth
MaineHealth is a not-for-profit family of leading high-quality providers and other healthcare organizations working together so their communities the healthiest in America. Ranked among the nation's top 100 integrated delivery networks, MaineHealth includes the following member organizations: LincolnHealth (Miles Memorial Hospital and LincolnHealth – St. Andrews Campus & Healthcare Center), Maine Medical Center, Maine Mental Health Partners (Spring Harbor Hospital), Pen Bay Healthcare (Pen Bay Medical Center), Southern Maine Medical Center, Waldo County Healthcare (Waldo County General Hospital), Western Maine Health (Stephens Memorial Hospital), HomeHealth Visiting Nurses, Maine Physician Hospital Organization, NorDx and Synernet. Affiliates of MaineHealth include MaineGeneral Medical Center, Mid Coast Hospital, New England Rehabilitation Hospital and St. Mary's Regional Medical Center.


Contact: Janell Lewis
MaineHealth Cancer Resource Center
(207) 396-8349 


110 Free Street | Portland, Maine 04101 | (207) 661-7001