The Foundation, previously known as the Maine Cancer Research and Education Foundation, celebrated its 25th Anniversary in 2001 with a name and logo change. The change signals a renewed focus in light of the tremendous advances occurring in the field of cancer. Being a statewide non-profit with a commitment to funding research and education initiatives locally, the Foundation is uniquely positioned to respond to opportunities as they arise.
Over the years, we have assisted with equipment purchases, provided funds for bench laboratory research and offered professional education at facilities from Portland to Bangor. All funding decisions are rooted in evidence based science. At the same time, the needs of patients beyond science and medicine have been addressed with Discovery Weekend, a unique retreat for cancer patients and their loved ones. Open to all Mainers, SW has been in place for 20 years. Financial assistance is available.
Several years ago the Foundation helped launch the Familial Cancer Predisposition Project. The Project seeks to identify people who may be at increased risk. When at-risk persons are identified, steps can be taken to insure early and frequent screenings. In some cases, medication can reduce the incidence of disease. In addition, these people may be eligible for clinical trials and prevention studies. Housed at the Maine Center for Cancer Medicine in Scarborough the program is open to any Maine person either through physician referral of self-referral. With continuing support from MCF the program has counseled nearly 300 families thus far from a variety of Maine towns.
The Foundation has presented an Annual Symposium for cancer physicians and oncology nurses each year. Locations alternate, in Bangor last fall, Portland the year before and Augusta this year. We have spoken to the lay population as well in response to community health inquiries and will travel statewide to do so.
In 2001, a new opportunity arose. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), a consortium of 17 comprehensive cancer centers, offered the southern Maine community an opportunity to affiliate. Maine will contribute important community data. In return, southern Maine Physicians agree to practice within NCCN Guidelines. The Foundation provided funds for this initiative, the first of its kind in the nation. It is expected to reduce variables in the delivery of cancer care while improving outcomes. Once the success of this first endeavor is ensured, it will expand to other regions of Maine.
Maine Cancer Foundation is here to provide laboratory and clinical cancer research, present education for both providers and consumers and offer Discovery Weekend. These initiatives will result in Maine people experiencing more successful outcomes. In some cases, the onset of cancer may be reduced. Our success is dependent, however, on the generosity of Maine people. All support comes from the public at large, people and businesses that have known cancer in some way and want to do something about it. Your support is greatly appreciated.
Please join us in our effort to raise money
for these cancer patients and cancer research.