Rally the Valley key to full care of cancer patients | PostIndependent.com

Rally the Valley key to full care of cancer patients

Research has shown that when used in conjunction with traditional cancer care, complementary therapies can help ease cancer-related symptoms and improve a patient’s quality of life.

And as the evidence grows, medical experts are beginning to accept integrative therapies as an effective complement to surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.

But who pays for these complementary therapies? There’s no doubt about it, cancer is a costly illness. It takes a toll on one’s health, emotions, time, relationships — and the wallet. Even the best health insurance won’t cover all the costs. And unfortunately, it’s more common than not for complementary therapies not to be covered.

So who pays for services like integrated therapies, physical therapy, mindful movement classes and social workers? If you live in Glenwood Springs, our community bands together to raise money to help patients benefit from complementary therapies such as support and survivorship programs, exercise classes and integrated therapies.

And our community is really amazing. Last year’s event raised more than $300,000 for the Rally Fund, which specifically funds these complementary therapies.

Today, Saturday, Sept. 20, the Valley View Hospital Foundation hosts the third annual Rally the Valley, a community-wide fundraising event, beginning at 8:30 a.m. at Sayre Park. Money raised provides resources and services to support patients at Calaway-Young Cancer Center through their treatment and into survivorship.

In addition to our dedicated and skilled team of oncologists, a litany of things make CCYC a world-class center, including an integrated approach to patient care. The cancer physicians hold weekly meetings to discuss all new cancer patients, as well as meetings with other medical specialists, many of whom are located right here in the very same building to discuss other aspects of care patients may be undergoing.

Treatment for the social and emotional sides of cancer is also offered in this very same building, including massage, acupuncture, support and survivorship programs, exercise classes, yoga and Tai Chi.

Very recently, many Roaring Fork Valley cancer patients would have to drive 60 to 110 miles one way for radiation cancer treatment, adding stressful, exhaustive, costly and draining trips out of town.

Hard to believe, the center has been here for two years now, as September marks the second anniversary of the Calaway-Young center. Today, patients have comprehensive cancer care: medical oncology, surgical oncology and radiation oncology right here in Glenwood Springs. They also have skilled physicians, compassionate and trained nurses and the latest technologies, right here.

This arrangement, where we’re all under the same roof and right across the hall from one another, makes for exceptional care.

I also want to emphasize that knowledge is power and prevention and early detection are key. Booths at The Rally on cancer prevention and health will be both educational and inspirational.

Everyone has been or will be affected by cancer. In Colorado, one in two men and two in five women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. It is the second most common cause of death in the United States, exceeded only by heart disease.

I hope you will join us at the Rally. There are several ways to rally: a 24.5-mile bike ride, a four-mile walk through downtown Glenwood Springs or a fun kids parade. At lunchtime, we all will come together for the Rally Party in Sayre Park where we can enjoy healthy food, live music and a kids’ zone with bouncy houses and more.

See you at the Rally!

Visit http://www.rallythevalley.org, call 970-384-6620 or just show up to Sayre Park this morning to register.

Bruce Greene is a radiation oncologist at Valley View Hospital.

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