The Capitol is seen as Congress resumes following a long break for the midterm elections, in Washington, early Monday, Nov. 14, 2022. Credit: J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Recently I had the honor of representing Maine in a visit to Capitol Hill. Along with roughly 600 of my fellow American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network volunteers from across the country, I traveled to Washington, D.C., to urge lawmakers to make cancer a national priority.

Together, we called on Congress to support life-saving policies that help people prevent and treat cancer. We asked legislators for their support in increasing federal funding for cancer research and prevention, to support increasing the diversity of those enrolled in clinical trials, and for coverage of new technology to improve cancer early detection screenings.

I want to thank U.S. Sen. Susan Collins for supporting and co-sponsoring the Diverse Trials Act. The Diverse Trials Act would expand enrollment opportunities and improve clinical trial diversity by ensuring that the trial sponsors can cover associated costs, like lodging and transportation, and ensuring trial participants are more socioeconomically, geographically and racially diverse.

I encourage U.S. Sen. Angus King and U.S. Reps. Chellie Pingree and Jared Golden to support this important legislation, which would benefit all Mainers inclusive to those in rural areas. Patients overwhelmingly want to participate in clinical trials but often face barriers and we must ensure that those battling cancer can access the newest treatment options. Everyone should have a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat and survive cancer.

Mary Lou Warn

Volunteer/advocate , American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network