Improving Access to Cancer Treatment and Care
Effective treatment of cancer requires a multi-disciplinary team approach. This team includes medical specialists like surgeons, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, nurses, social workers, radiologists and pathologists; as well as a network of family, friends, and caregivers all surrounding and supporting a well-informed patient. Working together, this team and the person diagnosed with cancer may decide to use a single treatment method or a combination of methods.
The treatment plan depends on the type and location of the cancer, the stage of the disease, the patient’s age and general health and other factors. Cancer may be treated with surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, hormones, or immunotherapy. Proper nutrition, general health and emotional support also play important roles in effective treatment and optimum recovery.
Clinical trials have lead to many advances in cancer care. Many of today’s most effective cancer treatment approaches are based on results from previous trials. By participating in clinical trials, patients have the opportunity to contribute to the research process and have access to innovative treatment options.
Not all Vermonters diagnosed with cancer are receiving the appropriate standard of care. Reasons include high out-of-pocket costs, lack of insurance coverage, lack of appropriate referrals from primary care providers, lack of reliable transportation, long distances from treatment centers and unpredictable weather conditions.
To learn more about our current Treatment goals and objectives see the 2015 Vermont State Cancer Plan.