November 2016 - Life Credit Company

Yes, There is Financial Help for Cancer Patients.

Fortunately, there are many ways to get financial help for cancer patients. In addition to borrowing from your life insurance policy, here are some ideas that you may want to explore further. Income Assistance The first thing to think about is income assistance. Low-income families can get Supplemental Security Income (SSI). There’s also the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or TANF program. Travel Help A second category is travel expenses. The help is so finely attuned that it has been split into driving/ground transport and air travel. For ground, check out the American Cancer Society’s Road to Recovery program. There may even be help with parking lot fees. For air travel, contact the National Patient Travel Center. From air travel costs to emergency air ambulances, this group has helped over 100,000 patients since 1972. Miscellaneous Expenses The TANF program, mentioned earlier, is even helpful for covering the cost of phone costs – and not just landlines. In a world of mobile phones, they have upgraded to help needy families with those expensive mobile bills. Another category of help not to be overlooked is “miscellaneous.” That may sound trivial, but the American Cancer Society encourages you to call them about local programs in your area. What’s the message here? If you need financial help, there’s a big safety net out there waiting to be used. This can help relieve financial pressure so you can focus on what matters most. Food Assistance Finally, there is help with food. A lot of help. Meals on Wheels is dedicated to helping. There’s the government run SNAP program. And now there is a hotline at...

Can Math Offer Assistance for Cancer Patients?

Math helps us in small ways every day — from paying the cashier at the supermarket to figuring out how much to tip a server to calculating ingredients as we make dinner. It’s relied upon for larger-scale projects that also impact many people’s daily lives, such as offering assistance for cancer patients. A recent Wall Street Journal article detailed how integral the field of mathematics is becoming to researchers dedicated to finding innovative approaches to treating and preventing cancer. For instance, scientists at DarwinHealth are concentrating on ways to best root out abnormal activity in proteins that could suggest the development of cancer cells and growth of existing cancers. Such proteins work as the “on/off” switch for cancer cells, researchers say, so locating and understanding them can aid in the development of new drugs to stop the spread of cancer — an invaluable source of assistance for cancer patients, to say the least. Math comes into play in such programs as the VIPER algorithm, a computer-based model that helps researchers manage massive amounts of data at once to shed light on which proteins are deviating from their normal behavior. When that determination is made, researchers can better target those proteins with medication and other therapies to turn the cancer cell’s switch to “off.” DarwinHealth is certainly not the only organization to take this approach; according to the WSJ article, scientists across the globe are increasingly embracing quantitative methods in their cancer research. This trend goes hand in hand with the developing technology field — computers can crunch numbers a lot quicker than scientists. Numbers are also important to us...

Startups Provide Financial Resources for Cancer Patients, Individuals in Form of Testing

Angelina Jolie stunned the world when she underwent a double-mastectomy in 2013, as a preventative breast cancer measure. Now, the test that convinced her to make that move could be much more readily available. A number of start-up biotech companies are working to make genetic testing more affordable, a goal that would offer pioneering financial resources for cancer patients and those looking to lower their risk of the disease. For instance, Color Genomics recently developed a program that enables people with a family history of breast cancer undergo the BRCA test for just $50. The BRCA test is an innovative genetic screening for a mutation in the BRCA gene, which causes up to 10 percent of breast-cancer cases in the United States. Those who test positive for the mutation face an 80-percent risk of eventually developing breast cancer. Knowing that risk has led some people, like Jolie, to take preventative measures to reduce their chance of developing breast cancer. But those individuals are few and far between, as cost has traditionally been a major barrier: The BRCA test has averaged about $4,000. Startups like Color are changing the game for genetic testing by providing financial resources for cancer patients and those wishing to test for specific genes. Such organizations build and use their own diagnostic labs, instead of conventional methods, and employ robots, 3-D printers and machines to collect, process and analyze data. By reducing overhead costs that traditional labs encounter such as for manpower and software, startups are ultimately able to offer their products to the consumers at a more affordable rate. In addition to Color’s $50 test,...

Reducing Sugar Consumption Could Provide Help for Cancer Patients

Sugary drinks are easy to find, affordable to buy and enjoyable to taste — but they could also be dangerous to our health. Nearly 16 percent of adults in a recent study reported high-sugar intake from sugar-sweetened beverages, including sodas, teas, fruit juices and energy drinks. The study specifically explored the link between such drinks and cancer risk, finding that people who had been diagnosed with cervical cancer were much more likely to have had a history of consuming sugar-sweetened beverages than other cancer survivors. People with no cancer history actually reported a higher sugar intake than cancer survivors, though researchers noted that age and gender could also influence that statistic. Demographic data was also evaluated, with researchers finding higher sugar-intake levels among young people, men, black people, those who are obese, smokers, low-income individuals and people lacking a college education. So how does this information offer help for cancer patients? First, researchers suggested the data provides a never-before-seen picture of just how severe the country’s dependence on sugar-sweetened beverages is. Understanding the problem is an important step in addressing it. The public has increasingly grown aware in recent years about the connection between sugary drinks and diseases like cancer, diabetes and obesity. This new research illustrates the need for enhanced education programs for specific populations, especially cervical-cancer survivors. Intervention programs aimed directly at women facing and those who have conquered cervical cancer is another important help for cancer patients looking to stay on the track to health. The information can also be used to target populations like lower socio-economic males, who report high levels of sugar intake. Public-health...