Cancer Summit Highlights Outstanding Need to Improve Patient Quality of Life

August 30, 2018

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – With an estimated 9,730 New Mexicans receiving a cancer diagnosis this year, it has never more important to discuss the steps healthcare providers can take to ensure the patient and their network feel fully supported.

The fifth annual American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network of New Mexico Cancer Summit will bring together leaders in health care, government and business to highlight the need for a Palliative Care Advisory Council comprised of state experts. In 2019, ACS CAN will advocate for legislation to empower a state agency to provide palliative care information through their website and other channels for medical professionals, patients, families, caregivers and the general public. 

In the latest edition of ACS CAN’s “How Do You Measure Up?: A Progress Report on State Legislative Activity to Reduce Cancer Incidence and Mortality,” New Mexico received an unsatisfactory grade for access to palliative care because it has failed to adopt evidence-based policies and best practices.

Palliative care is specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses. It's provided by a team of doctors, nurses and other health care professionals working together with the patient, their family and caregivers. The team works with the patient to control pain and other symptoms, understand the patient's goals, and explain treatment options so the patient can choose what is best. This proven approach provides an extra layer of support for people of any age and at any stage of a serious disease and can be provided alongside curative treatment. Palliative care focuses on treating the disease while also ensuring the best possible quality of life for the patient.

Sen. Craig Brandt
, District 40
Kristin St. Clair, Christus St. Vincent RN
Jackie Cooper, AARP
Dr. Esmé Finlay, associate professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Division of Palliative Medicine
Joyce Graves, patient advocate
Dr. Lisa Marr, division chief of Palliative Medicine and professor of Internal Medicine at UNM
Linda Siegle, Resources for Change
Traci White, PharmD, assistant professor of Pharmacy Practice and Administrative Sciences at the UNM College of Pharmacy and assistant director for the UNM/NMSU Cooperative Pharmacy Program

WHERE:             Albuquerque Museum
2000 Mountain Road NW

WHEN:                 Thursday, Sept. 6
1 p.m. – 4:45 p.m