Editor, Thehenryettan.com:
From the moment a person is first diagnosed with cancer, they are often dealing with pain, stress and other symptoms. Many don't realize there is an extra layer of support that patients at any stage of a serious disease can get along with their curative treatment. It's called palliative care.
Palliative care pairs trained specialists with the doctors and nurses who are focused on the cancer treatment itself in a team-based approach to manage pain and other symptoms of treatment to help improve the patient's quality of life. It's a big shift in the focus for health care delivery – focusing on treating the person beyond the disease.
Recently, Governor Fallin signed into a law legislation that will expand the Home Care, Hospice and Palliative Care Advisory Council to identify ways to improve the quality and delivery of patient-centered, family-focused care in Oklahoma.
Fighting a serious illness such as cancer is not easy. But much of the pain that goes along with it can be relieved thanks to palliative care. I thank our Oklahoma Legislature for taking this opportunity to pass legislation that helps make that possible.
Michelle Brown
Volunteer, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN)