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I have a shorter post than usual this month because the story is simple:

Tobacco is the leading cause of cancer death in Maine.

I'll say it again: tobacco is the leading cause of cancer death in Maine.

Lung cancer rates in Maine are consistently and significantly higher than the U.S. average, and not just a little higher: 30% higher.

Last year cancer passed heart disease as the #1 killer in our state, and lung cancer, and when combined with non-lung tobacco-related cancer (think: ears, nose, tongue, throat) it accounts for 48% of all cancer deaths.

One more time: tobacco is the leading cause of cancer death in Maine.

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Together, the Maine Cancer Consortium and Maine Cancer Foundation want to announce an exciting change for both organizations, one that we hope to announce formally on January 1st, 2016.

For several years now, Maine Cancer Foundation has worked closely with the Maine Cancer Consortium, a coalition of over 100 Maine-based organizations and individuals with oncology expertise who are focused on working together to reduce cancer rates in Maine.

Our two organizations have different missions, but we share an identical passion: continuing the fight against cancer for the people of Maine.

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Key Support for Cancer Patients in the ACA

I’ve noticed that as the days grow shorter and first hints of color show in the trees, people in Maine start planning.

For some, this means mapping out the school year for their kids, or stacking that pile of firewood.  For others, it’s time to close up a seasonal business, tally the books and start thinking hard about how to make it through the winter. A budget is a necessary part of life in our state. 

On November 1st, enrollment openes up again for health insurance plans created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and this year, remaining uninsured will carry a fine of at least $695.

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More than 3,100 people in Maine will die of cancer this year, and another 8,200 will diagnosed at some stage of the disease. The hard fact of life is Maine currently has the 11th highest cancer rate in the nation, and the worst of all the New England states. This has to change. 

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(Above: Jay Collins Announces Challenge Cancer 2020 plan at the McKernan Center.)

South Portland, Maine.  An ambitious new plan to cut Maine’s cancer rates 20% by the year 2020 was announced on Wednesday by Jay Collins, Maine Cancer Foundation Board Member and VP, International Operational Execution at WEX Inc.

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This FANTASTIC display of pink scarves will be on display at the Couleur Collection in Falmouth until July 18th. More than 4,000 hand-made scarves were donated, and will be given out at the Tri for a Cure on July 26th. 

Our special thanks to Marcia, Kate, Julie and the thousands of individuals who donated a scarf to the effort!