Reduce the Risk. Detect Early. Improve Outcomes.

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Improving Health Outcomes For All.

Maine Lung Cancer Coalition provides an innovative, statewide approach to lung cancer education, lung cancer prevention, and screening for Maine residents — especially the most vulnerable and at-risk.

The Maine Lung Cancer Coalition is funded by:
bristol-myers squibb foundation Maine Cancer Foundation meif anthem

Lung Cancer in Maine

Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer of both men and women in the United States, leading to more than 150,000 deaths per year.

of all U.S. states Maine Ranks stat1 stat1

Maine's lung cancer rates are 30% higher than the national average.

Maine men have a 30% higher lung cancer rate than Maine women.

75% of lung cancer cases in Maine are detected late and are often not treatable.

Lung cancer screening leads to better all-cause mortality rate.

Risk Factors

Lung Cancer has many causes.

  • Smoking: Cigarette smoking is the most important and number one risk factor for lung cancer. 80% to 90% of lung cancer deaths in the US are caused by smoking. Risk increases with both quantity and duration of smoking. People who smoke cigarettes are 15 to 30 times more likely to get lung cancer or die from lung cancer than people who do not smoke. Even smoking a few cigarettes a day or smoking occasionally increases the risk of lung cancer.* Cigar and pipe smoking also increase risk.
    *Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
  • Secondhand Smoke: Two out of five adults who don't smoke die from lung cancer due to secondhand smoke every year.* Secondhand smoke or involuntary smoking is when an individual breathes in toxic chemicals and nicotine the same way smokers do. Like smoking, the more secondhand smoke you breathe, the more at risk you become to lung cancer. There is no safe level of secondhand smoke exposure.
    *Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
  • Radon Gas: Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in Maine. Radon is a colorless, odorless gas. High levels of radon gas naturally occur in Maine soil and gets into the home through the ground and foundation. Radon can also be found in well water. If radon builds up within a home, it can increase health risks. Any house can have radon, it doesn't matter if it's a new house or older house. The only way to know if your house has higher levels of radon is to test.

Early Detection with Low-Dose Computed Tomography (LDCT) Screening

Low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) is a promising new screening tool for the early detection of lung cancer in high-risk individuals. Annual LDCT screening is recommended by the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) and is covered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and many health insurance companies for qualified patients.

Eligibility criteria include:

  • Age 55-80 (Medicare covers 55-77)
  • 30+ pack-year smoking history (pack years = average number of packs smoked per day X number of years smoked)
  • Current smoker or have quit smoking in the last 15 years
  • No signs or symptoms of lung cancer

Before the initial screening can occur, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requires that eligible patients participate in a lung cancer screening counseling and shared decision making visit by a physician or qualified non-physician practitioner. In shared decision making, patients and providers collaborate to make health decisions based on the best available evidence and the patient's values and preferences.Learn More

Goals of the Maine Lung Cancer Coalition

The Maine Lung Cancer Coalition has two primary goals:​​​​​​​


Engage and educate the general public, patients, health care providers, health care payers, and policymakers about evidence-based lung cancer prevention and screening practices.


Develop, implement, and evaluate innovative programs to increase access to evidence-based lung cancer prevention, screening, and treatment services to the entire Maine population, including residents of rural underserved areas.

A four-year grant from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, Maine Cancer Foundation, and the Maine Economic Improvement Fund created this multidisciplinary, cross organizational effort that will span the state of Maine.

Additional funds are needed to achieve the full potential of this project. We need your support! Join us by making a tax-deductible gift today.

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  • Prevention
  • Stakeholder Engagement & Education
  • Early Detection

Prevention Activities

Stakeholder Engagement & Education Activities

Early Detection Activities

About the Maine Lung Cancer Coalition

  • Paul Han, MD, MA, MPH, Principal Investigator, Maine Medical Center
  • Neil Korsen, MD, MS, Co-PI & Early Detection Core Lead, Maine Medical Center
  • Leo Waterston, MA, Project Director, Maine Medical Center
  • Anne Conners, MA, MPH, Prevention Core Co-Lead, MaineGeneral Medical Center
  • Katherine Ryan, PhD, Prevention Core Co-Lead, MaineHealth
  • Lance Boucher, Health Policy & Advocacy Lead, American Lung Association
  • Lee Beth Gilman, MS, CHES, Stakeholder Engagement & Education Core Co- Lead, American Lung Association
  • Jessica Reed, MSN, GNP, Stakeholder Engagement & Education Core Co-Lead, Quality Counts
  • Rebecca J. Boulos, MPH, PhD, Lead Program Evaluator, University of Southern Maine
  • Kathleen Fairfield, MD, MPH, DrPH, Data Analytic Team Lead, Maine Medical Center
  • Stakeholder Advisory Board Members
  • Anne M. Haskell, Former Senator, Maine Senate, Lung Cancer Caregiver
  • Jeff Holmstrom, DO, Medical Director, Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Maine
  • Kevin Lewis, CEO, Community Health Options
  • Lisa Nolan, Director, Value-Based Purchasing, Healthcare Purchaser Alliance of Maine
  • Daniel K. Onion, MD, MPH, Director (Emeritus), Dartmouth Family Medicine Residency
  • Linda F. Sanborn, MD, Representative, Maine House of Representatives
  • Debra Violette, President & CEO, Free Me From Lung Cancer; Lung Cancer Survivor; Patient Advocate
  • Ralph Warnock, Lung Cancer Survivor
  • Project Consultants
  • James Benneyan, PhD, Northeastern University, Director of the Healthcare Systems Engineering Institute
  • Deborah A. Deatrick, MPH, Senior Vice President of Community Health, MaineHealth (Retired)
  • Scot Remick, MD, FACP, Chief of Oncology, MaineHealth Cancer Care Network and Maine Medical Center Cancer Institute
  • Jamie L. Studts, PhD, University of Kentucky, Director, Kentucky LEADS Program
  • John E. Jack Wennberg, MD, MPH, Founder & Director Emeritus, The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice
  • Katie Garfield, JD, Center for Health Law & Policy Innovation, Harvard Law School
  • Sarah Downer, JD, Center for Health Law & Policy Innovation, Harvard Law School
  • Neeraja Bhavaraju, MBA,MALD, FSG
  • Elizabeth Hawkins, FSG
  • Randy Schwartz, MSPH Public Health Consultant
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