Building Consistency into Health Care for Patients with Cancer

CURESummer 2016
Volume 15
Issue 3

A VITAL PART of our mission at CURE is to keep our readers apprised of cutting-edge treatments for cancer, often when these treatments are still in development. Our aim is to give you the information and understanding you need to make the best decisions for yourself and your loved ones in the fight against cancer.

But sometimes having that information isn’t enough. Other challenges can stand between patients and the best treatments — a lack of access to specialists, decisions by health insurers not to cover certain treatments, or a lack of expendable income for medications, therapies or copays.

Over the years, such obstacles have particularly affected one group of patients: former military servicemen. Though the government set up the Veterans Health Administration to take care of soldiers who sacrificed their health on the front lines, the agency has not always achieved that goal. In this issue of CURE, we look at the slow evolution of cancer coverage by the VA and at more recent problems with access to care — in particular, a pattern of long wait times for appointments. Luckily, we are also able to report on a host of recent efforts to make cancer care more comprehensive and accessible to America’s former soldiers.

In a related story, we recount the struggles of those who helped clean up at crash sites on and after the 9/11 disasters in 2001, only to find that the toxins they were exposed to there left them with long-term health problems, including cancer. With the 15th anniversary of the tragedy on the horizon, we’re glad to explain that Congress recently approved a long-term, organized health care program, including cancer care, for these first responders. In other breaking news, our summer issue explores how the latest genomic insights are leading to a new array of treatments for soft tissue sarcoma. And we examine, in depth, the growing variety of therapies for treatmentinduced nausea and vomiting.

Finally, in a look at the emotional side of healing, we examine the evidence behind two methods of boosting the outlooks of hospitalized patients with cancer: trained therapy animals and art installations. We hope that the topics covered in this issue will provide you with meaningful insights into a variety of aspects of the cancer journey, helping you to devise strategies that will improve the treatment or survivorship experience for you or your loved ones. As always, thank you for reading.