Cancer changes ones world

Published 2:31 pm Wednesday, September 27, 2017

When someone is diagnosed with cancer, their entire world changes. Each day can look and feel different from the last. There’s the fear, anxiety and pain that go along with the diagnosis and treatment of a chronic disease, all of which can take a toll on a person’s quality of life.

However, palliative care can help treat the whole patient, not only the disease. Specialized medical professionals can improve the quality of life of the patient and their family through coordination of care, focusing on relief from pain, stress and other symptoms of the disease and treatment.

This is a growing field of medical care that has a promising future in the way we care for those with a chronic illness, such as cancer. This type of care puts the patient first. Not only can it improve patient experience and outcomes, it can also reduce medical costs.

Last week, I traveled to Washington, D.C., to urge Rep. Brian Babin, to co-sponsor a bill currently pending in Congress that would increase education of and access to palliative care. The 116,000 Texans who will receive a cancer diagnosis this year need our lawmakers to move it forward. Congress has the opportunity to increase access to palliative care so patients and their families have that extra layer of support when they need it most. My family experienced firsthand the benefits of Palliative health care when my Aunt was diagnosed with cancer.  The doctors and nurses worked together to treat her physically and emotionally as well as helping our family understand what she was going through.


Nancy Neel

Volunteer, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN)

Silsbee, Texas