Mainers visit D.C. to lobby for increased funding for cancer research, treatment and prevention

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network Leadership Summit and Lobby Day
Published: Sep. 25, 2023 at 4:25 PM EDT
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Maine (WABI) - Last week, a group of Mainers traveled to Washington, D.C. to speak to members of Congress about the increased need for cancer care funding.

It was part of the annual Cancer Action Network Leadership Summit and Lobby Day, sponsored by the American Cancer Society.

According to the American Cancer Society, cancer impacts the lives of about 10,500 Mainers each year.

”We honor people who are fighting cancer right now and their caregivers. We are honoring those who have lost their lives to cancer and those who have survived.”

Mary Lou Warn of Winslow was among four Mainers that spent time in Washington D.C. last week, urging Maine’s Congressional delegation to make cancer research, prevention and treatment a top priority.

“It’s been many years since President Nixon declared war on cancer and the fight hasn’t ended yet,” says Mike Rollo, one of thevACS CAN Government Relations Directors in the region. He supported the group of Mainers in D.C.

This was the 13th year for their summit. Currently, Rollo says the group is advocating for increased funding to support breast and cervical cancer screenings.

“We’re also asking the delegation to sponsor the Multi Cancer Early Detection Screening Act,” explains Rollo. “Which would enable Medicare to green light coverage for cutting edge technology that is being developed right now.”

Additionally, they’re pushing for the PSA Screening for HIM Act. That would require insurance companies to fully cover prostate cancer screenings for those at high risk of the disease.

“We know that people that live in rural communities have less access to PSA screenings,” says Rollo. “And that’s a good number of people in the state of Maine.”

The three day event wrapped up with Lights of Hope. More than 65,000 luminary bags lined Constitutional Garden in D.C. Each and every one telling the story of someone whose life was impacted by cancer.

Warn paid tribute to her aunt who passed away in January from brain cancer as well as honoring her uncle who was by his wife’s side the entire 8 months she battled the disease.

“You know, everyone’s story is different, says Warn. “And it touches my heart. I am very glad to be a part of this.”

If you’d like to get involved at the state level, log onto