April 2016 - Life Credit Company

A Low-Carb Diet May Help Reduce Cancer Risk

Many people diet to feel and look their best, but eating right could have another even more important result, according to a new study. Researchers at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center recently found that avoiding a certain type of carbohydrate may reduce the risk for lung cancer. The study is being hailed as an important step forward for understanding cancer risk, and as a strong source of help for cancer patients who are looking to both understand the disease and protect themselves from recurrence. Low-Carb 101 Reducing carbohydrate intake has been associated with a number of health benefits, including weight loss and reduction of sugars. But this is the first time that a large-scale study has shown the impact of a low-carb diet on lung cancer risk. Investigators examined the diets of 2,000 people who were recently diagnosed with lung cancer, comparing them to the diets of 2,400 healthy individuals. What they found was that people who ate a lot of “bad” carbohydrates — those with a high glycemic index — were 49 percent more likely to develop lung cancer than those who did not consume such carbs. Interestingly, diets rich in bad carbs seemed to heighten the risk for lung cancer more so in people who had never smoked — the leading risk for lung cancer — than in smokers. One explanation for that phenomenon is that foods with a high glycemic index may elevate blood sugar rates, which could lead to high insulin levels — a factor that has been shown to speed cell growth, including cancer development. Impact of Study Scientists noted that, while further research is...

The Benefits of Pet Therapy

For many of us, the stress from a hard day at work quickly disappears when we’re greeted at the front door by our four-legged friends, eagerly wagging their tails. Dogs, cats and other pets have an amazing therapeutic effect, an idea that is being used to provide help for cancer patients. Why animal therapy? We’ve all heard of chemotherapy for cancer patients, but animal-assisted therapy is a concept many people may not be familiar with. The trend centers on the concept that animals can be mood-boosters and, when patients are dealing with a diagnosis as scary as cancer, lifting one’s spirits can promote better physical and mental health. According to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, animals can be an important source of both distraction and comfort; often, cancer patients are focused on their condition around the clock, but when they instead devote their attention to a visiting animal, they’re given a helpful reprieve from their stress. Also, simply petting an animal has been shown to stimulate your mood. Cynthia Ingram, the Animal Therapy Coordinator at Cancer Treatment Centers of America’s Illinois campus, noted that studies have proven that therapy dogs may lower levels of anxiety and depression. “Therapy dogs can provide for a sense of comfort and overall wellbeing, and present a more home-like atmosphere,” she added. How does it work? Cancer programs across the country are incorporating animal-assisted therapy into their services. In addition to Cancer Treatment Centers, pet programs have also sprung up at places like Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. Pet Partners is an entire organization devoted to connecting animals with...

CareBox Provides Cancer Patients With Free Care Supplies At Home

We all love getting care packages in the mail — from tasty treats at the holidays to hometown reminders if we’re living far from loved ones. Imagine the delight, then, when a package including items you not only want, but actually need, arrives on your doorstep — free of charge! That’s the idea behind CareBox, an innovative resource for cancer patients that puts essential personal-care items right in their hands. Why CareBox is Needed When cancer patients are undergoing treatment, they need to keep both their bodies and minds strong to fight off the illness. However, that’s often easier said than done. Treatments like chemotherapy weaken patients’ immunes systems, so even exposure to someone with a minor cold could be debilitating, or could even prove deadly; patients need to be both alert and prepared to fend off sickness. They also have to grapple with the side effects of cancer treatments, which can wreak havoc on the body, and with making adjustments to their daily routines to accommodate their changing conditions. To help patients meet those challenges, a college student at University of Texas came up with the idea for CareBox. How CareBox Works CareBox is a one-stop shop resource for cancer patients.Patients can sign up on the site and make a list of items from which they could benefit. Common CareBoxes include products like heating pads and neck pillows to help with muscle aches and pains, masks and gloves for protection and sick bags and ointments to treat the unfortunate byproducts of treatments. Each patient has his or her photo and story, along with the type of cancer and...