Decrease Cancer Deaths

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Data About Priority

MaineHealth is striving to lower the incidence of cancers by reducing tobacco use and obesity rates while increasing survivorship by maximizing cancer screening and expanding access to community-based treatment.


Although Maine's age-adjusted death rates for all malignant cancers combined have decreased over time, the state's rates remain higher than national rates. These higher rates are primarily due to Maine's historically high prevalence of tobacco use. Cancers that scientific studies have proven can be caused by tobacco use include lung and bronchus, laryngeal, oropharyngeal, esophageal, stomach, pancreatic, colorectal, kidney and rental pelvis, urinary bladder, cervical cancers and acute myeloid leukemia.  Maine's age adjusted incidence rates for lung/bronchus and other tobacco-related cancers were statistically significantly higher than most other states.  51% of all cancer deaths in the MaineHealth service area were due to cancers linked to tobacco use.  


Clinical Strategies

Primary and Secondary Prevention

  • Prevent Infectious Disease: Provide risk reduction surgery for patients at high risk.

Early Detection

  • Educate health providers on latest evidence-based screening guidelines and for patients at elevated risk.
  • Improve patient/family shared decision-making.
  • Provide evidence-based cancer screening tests.
  • Develop processes and systems of care for screening.
  • Increase funding for screening programs.
  • Increase access to cancer genetic risk assessment counseling and testing.
  • Expand use of telemedicine.

Treatment and Survivorship

  • Educate providers about evidence-based guidelines for cancer care, rehabilitation and survivorship.
  • Train providers and staff in advanced care planning.
  • Improve patient/family engagement in cancer care.
  • Promote a “regional” oncology care approach and coordination of cancer care.
  • Expand Patient Navigation services.
  • Promote clinical trials, when applicable.
  • Expand use of written survivorship care plans.
  • Expand access to palliative care.
  • Expand use of hospice care at end of life.


Community Strategies

Primary and Secondary Prevention

  • Decrease Tobacco Use (see "Decrease Tobacco Use" logic model)            
  • Decrease Obesity (see "Decrease Obesity" logic model)
  • Prevent Excessive Alcohol Consumption: Focus on preventing heavy drinking, binge drinking and underage drinking.
  • Prevent Infectious Disease: Implement evidence-based programs for STDs/STIs.
  • Sun Safety: Implement evidence-based school/worksite interventions.
  • Environmental Health: Educate public about radon and arsenic exposure. Test for radon (indoor air and wells) and arsenic (wells).

Early Detection

  • Increase access to evidence-based screenings.
  • Educate public about the benefits of the Affordable Care Act for prevention, detection and treatment of cancer
  • Educate public about the importance of getting screening for cancers.

Treatment and Survivorship

  • Expand access to and awareness of reliable cancer treatment information.
  • Expand access to community-based support services.

Policy Strategies

Primary and Secondary Prevention

  • Prevent Excessive Alcohol Consumption: Implement evidence-based programs, including those with policy and environmental change.
  • Prevent Infectious Disease: Promote, administer, and improve insurance coverage for HPV vaccination.
  • Sun Safety: Advocate for tanning bed policies.
  • Environmental Health: Advocate for policy change.

Early Detection

  • Support Medicaid expansion.
  • Identify and advocate for policy and regulatory change to support early detection efforts.

Treatment and Survivorship

  • Increase insurance access for treatment and rehabilitation.
  • Advocate for policy to support treatment and rehabilitation services.
  • Expand access to free and low-cost medications.
  • Logic Model: Decrease Cancer Mortality_TREATMENT REHABILITATION & SURVIVORSHIP

    Logic Model – A roadmap or diagram showing chain results connecting activities to the expected initial outputs, and intermediate and final outcomes.  It provides a basis for developing the performance measurement and evaluation strategies 

  • Maine Department of Health and Human Services

    Maine DHHS provides integrated health and human services to the people of Maine to assist individuals in meeting their needs, while respecting the rights and preferences of the individual and family, within available resources.

  • MaineHealth Health Index Report - 2013
  • MaineHealth Health Index Report - 2014
  • MaineHealth Health Index Report - 2015
  • MFFM | Maine Federation of Farmers' Markets

    MFFM website and resources - Maine Federation of Farmers' Markets is a close network of farmers through-out Maine and a great resource for getting in contact with farmers. 

  • Waldo County Reentry Center Garden

    Reentry Center Garden resources - basic information on the Waldo County Reentry Center Garden and the work that is being done to help feed the community. 



Projects & Activities