Improving Quality of Life
Easing the journey
When someone hears the words, “you have cancer,” the priority should be on healing rather than worrying about affording the next mortgage payment, transportation costs or childcare fees. Yet, their lives are turned upside down. Sometimes they learn treatment will start immediately and they cannot return to work. If that same diagnosis requires a bone marrow transplant, patients have to spend at least three months in Calgary and months longer to recover. Our donors invest in the Alberta Cancer Foundation’s patient financial assistance program—more than $3.3 million over the last five years—to ensure that patients can concentrate on healing instead of being concerned with making ends meet. This program supports qualified families—it was accessed more than 3348 times last year—when they need it during treatment, easing the journey for Albertans.
Providing comfort and care to Albertans
Palliative and end-of-life care is hard to talk about but it is important to support. In the last year, the Alberta Cancer Foundation invested in the development of a provincial strategy to give Albertans at the end of their lives with more options for care and improved co-ordination across the health-care sectors. This comprehensive program will provide standardized symptom assessment wherever palliative patients reside across the province—at home, in long-term care, supportive living, acute care or cancer care settings. Researchers say that palliative care that is integrated into treatment of cancer can improve quality of life and even increase survival if initiated early in the course of the disease. This investment complements the already established Alberta Cancer Foundation endowed chair in palliative care research, to make the final stages of the cancer journey as respectful and dignified as possible.