Bachus calls for improvements to supportive care for cancer patients

Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) called for legislation this week to improve supportive care for patients with cancer and other serious diseases.

Bachus, speaking at a Capitol Hill briefing on Multiple Myeloma and Rare Blood Cancers, discussed his support for the Patient Centered Quality of Life Act.

Bachus sponsored the bill with Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) in an attempt to increase the awareness and coordination of palliative and supportive care to aid patients in managing ongoing pain and other symptoms after their initial medical treatment.

“Many times after treatments like radiation and chemotherapy, a cancer patient can be left with continuing pain, mental stress, and other problems,” Bachus said. “Supportive care is a coordinated way to deal with these conditions and to help people recover faster. The University of Alabama at Birmingham has one of the model programs of this kind in the nation, and many patients would benefit if this concept could be spread nationwide.”

Emphasis on palliative care training and education at federal agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the National Institutes of Health, would be increased by the legislation, which has been endorsed by the American Cancer Society.