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Maine's Cancer Registry Faulted

October 6, 2003
by Josie Huang
Portland Press Herald

Maine misses opportunities to prevent cancer because the state is too slow to spot trends and track the killer disease, a new report says. Trust for America's Health, a Washington, D.C.-based health advocacy group, ranked Maine near the bottom of the 34 states that participated in the study. The group gave Maine a "D" grade for its cancer registry, along with North Dakota and Tennessee. Mississippi was the only state that received an "F." Twelve states, including Massachusetts, got an "A." State officials say the report relies on outdated data. They say Maine's cancer registry has improved considerably through the hard work of a small staff in recent years. But the report's authors argue that lives could be saved if Maine did a better job of collecting statistics, comparing cancer cases with occupational, lifestyle and environmental information, and targeting cancer-prevention efforts.

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