Statewide
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February 2, 2015
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Madison Grady

Oklahomans want physician-prescribed treatment and in-state access to best treatment options

Oklahoma is on the cutting edge of health care technology and research in several areas, including cancer treatment. However, not all Oklahomans have access to the best treatment options that are offered in state.

This legislative session, Rep. Marian Cooksey introduced House Bill 1515 to help Oklahoma cancer patients receive the physician-ordered radiation treatments needed for their recovery and long-term health.

Proton radiation therapy gives patients with certain types of cancers a therapy option that treats only the cancerous areas and leaving other, more sensitive, parts of the body alone. Proton therapy is equally effective at killing the cancer as more traditional radiation therapies, but has better long-term health results because there’s less of a chance of causing a second tumor later in life or irreparable damage to vital organs near the cancer.

Proton therapy is offered in Oklahoma and attracts hundreds of patients from, not only across America, but from around the world.

And, Oklahomans see this as very important to our state, according to recent polling, where nearly nine in ten Oklahoma likely voters believe it is important that Oklahoma remain on the cutting edge of cancer therapy and research.

A very large majority of Oklahomans also expressed that they would travel out of the state to receive treatment if Oklahoma did not offer the best cancer care, indicating that not only do Oklahomans want the state to benefit from attracting patients to the state, but they want the best cancer care to be located close to them for their needs as well.

The poll also reveals that a vast majority of Oklahomans believe Oklahoma doctors should make decisions on medical treatments regarding their Oklahoma patients.

“This is a public health issue. A patient should be able to get the best treatment available, especially when it’s offered locally, and their treatment plan should be dependent on what their doctor decides is best for the patient and nothing else,” said Bill Shapard, CEO of SoonerPoll.

[box]Almost all of Oklahoma likely voters believe it is important that Oklahoma remain on the cutting edge of cancer therapy and research.

Importance that Oklahoma remain on the cutting edge of cancer care.Very ImportantSomewhat ImportantNeutralSomewhat unimportantVery UnimportantOverall86.912.00.80.20.0 Republican87.211.61.30.00.0Democrat86.712.30.50.60.0Independent86.413.60.00.00.0Likeliness to travel out of state to receive treatment if Oklahoma did not offer the best cancer care.Very likelySomewhat likelyNeutralSomewhat unlikelyVery unlikelyOverall84.65.03.42.05.1 Republican82.45.83.92.95.0Democrat86.33.32.91.26.4Independent89.68.32.10.00.0

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Opinions were similar among all sub-groups of Oklahoma likely voters, including those of party affiliation.

“The results are pretty clear,” said Shapard. “Likely voters in the state see the development of cutting edge healthcare technology and therapies as important to our state, and that growth and development shouldn't be hindered in any way.”

 

About the Poll

The poll of 303 likely voters in Oklahoma was commissioned and conducted Nov 17-24, 2014 by live interviewer and included 71 cellphone and 232 landline users. The margin of error is plus or minus 5.64 percentage points.

Poll results were weighted by age and congressional district, stratified by Oklahoma likely voters statewide. This poll conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls. A complete description of the methodology can be found here.

The poll's Call Disposition and Rate Calculation report can be viewed here.

Madison Grady
About the Author

Madison Grady