East Texas oncologist encouraged by progress made in battle against cancer

East Texas oncologist encouraged by progress made in battle against cancer
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network released its annual, ‘How Do You Measure Up?’ report on efforts nationwide to reduce cancer. (Source: KTRE Staff)
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network released its annual, ‘How Do You Measure Up?’ report on efforts nationwide to reduce cancer. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Texas ranked high in allocated research dollars, but low in providing health care for the very poor. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Texas ranked high in allocated research dollars, but low in providing health care for the very poor. (Source: KTRE Staff)

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - How is Texas doing in the fight against cancer?

That's the question addressed in a nationwide comparative cancer study released today by the American Cancer Society.

East Texas News asked Temple Cancer Center's Dr. Sidney Roberts how the Lone Star State measures up with the rest of the nation.

Dr. Sidney Roberts sees the effects of cancer most every day.

"This is a CT scan of patient's cancer," Roberts said.

The radiation oncologist is encouraged by some of lawmakers' attempts in combating the disease.

"I think we are seeing some progress on the legislative front," Roberts said.

According to a progress report by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Texas is ranked high among the nation for investing in lifesaving cancer research.

"We are seeing renewal of the grant funding for breast and cervical cancer programs which is very important," Roberts said.

Smoke-free laws are deemed important as well. The report praises 40 cities around Texas, including Lufkin and Nacogdoches for smoke-free laws, but the state as a whole didn't fare so well in the report.

"We don't see that statewide and I wish we would," Roberts said. "I think that is where our state legislators need to get on board because that will save the state money in health care dollars down the line."

Texas is highlighted for passing this year legislation aimed at improving access to palliative care, also known as supportive or comfort care for people with a serious illness. Yet when it comes to caring for the very poor the report points out Texas continues to oppose improving access to health care coverage through Medicaid. As a result, many East Texans are denied affordable health care coverage, while health providers go uncompensated.

The full report can be found at the Cancer Action Network Website.

Copyright 2015 KTRE. All rights reserved.