To the editor:
Earlier this month, I traveled to Washington, D.C., with cancer survivors and volunteers to call on Congress to support legislation that emphasizes the quality of life of patients during treatment for a serious disease such as cancer. Lawmakers have the power to improve the lives of cancer patients by making treatment of their pain and other symptoms standard practice during the course of care.
I joined more than 600 cancer patients and survivors from across the country who volunteer for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network to educate lawmakers about proposals that have the potential to better coordinate patient care and reduce the pain, fear and anxiety that many patients feel during treatment.
When I met with U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Marietta, I asked him to make a commitment to patients' quality of life and palliative care by co-sponsoring legislation that gives patients more control, makes sure that their pain is properly managed and provides better coordination between doctors and medicines so that the patients know what to do when they are discharged from the hospital.
A national commitment to protecting quality of life and palliative care will help cancer patients get well, stay well and live full lives.
Barbara J. Wilinski
Volunteer, American Cancer