February 2017 - Life Credit Company

Central Data Storage Needed to Assist Cancer Patients

The key to cancer care lies in numbers. Data abounds about each person diagnosed with cancer: genetic information, test scores, treatment responses. With any math challenge, answers are most readily found when all the information is presented; a word problem can’t be worked out unless all the factors are included to give a full picture. Currently, the full picture of the fight against cancer isn’t being seen, meaning the potential for assistance for cancer patients is still out of reach. That’s a reality some researchers are hoping to change. There’s been an increased push recently for streamlined data collection about cancer patients. Traditionally, the information has been siloed: Teaching hospitals, research centers, individual practitioners, nonprofit organizations and government agencies all amass and analyze their own data. But that’s prompted some to question, what could happen if all of these thought leaders collaborated? Information-sharing has already been happening, with promising results. The federal Precision Medicine Initiative, which includes leadership from a number of organizers, is collecting genetic information from one million Americans. The goal of the projects is to provide researchers ample opportunity to identify patterns that could lead to breakthroughs in prevention and treatments of conditions like cancer. In the private sector, Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation and Flatiron Health are among the organizations inputting their data on the disease into the Genomic Data Commons, an information-sharing project to fuel research on multiple myeloma. The value of such collaboration isn’t known by many, which has led to such efforts as Harvard Business School’s Kraft Precision Medicine Accelerator. The KPMA strives to raise awareness among medical circles and the general public...

Medicare Recipients in Need of Financial Resources for Cancer Patients

The financial landscape associated with a cancer diagnosis is challenging, especially for those without adequate insurance coverage. According to a new study, seniors with cancer who rely on Medicare for insurance but don’t have a supplemental policy in place can pay as much as 63 percent of their income on treatment. Out-of-pocket costs for such consumers can reach as high as $8,000 a year — and that’s on top of premiums. There are a few reasons for the climbing costs. Medicare covers up to 80 percent of costs associated with cancer treatments, but for the other 20 percent there’s no cap on out-of-pocket expenses cancer patients may have to pay. Cancer treatments can be extremely expensive, with hospitalizations associated with a cancer diagnosis accounting for the greatest health-care costs in the nation. So what financial resources for cancer patients can help ease the burden? One answer lies in supplemental insurance, also called Medigap coverage. Such plans cover the 20-percent gap Medicare expects patients to pay and, because it’s a lower percentage, the premiums are often much lower than those associated with Medicare. Unfortunately, many seniors are unprepared for a cancer diagnosis, let alone the financial realities of cancer; such news can come as a shock to both the system and the wallet. While we keep pushing for increased education about cancer prevention and treatment, we also need to pay attention to financial resources for cancer patients. Life Credit is one such option. With our living benefit loans, we provide up to half of your insurance policy’s death benefit to help people face their cancer diagnosis with one less weight...

New Research on Mouse Embryos Could Offer Help for Cancer Patients

The old phrase “even the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry” is welcome news for cancer researchers. A team of scientists recently happened upon an unexpected discovery that could lead to new developments in oncology treatment that provide innovative help for cancer patients. The breakthrough was made by researchers at University of California San Francisco, who were trying out a regimen of drugs called mTOR inhibitors to treat cancer in mice. What they found was that the drugs were able to induce a phenomenon called “suspended animation” in mice embryos, essentially pausing the pregnancy for a number of weeks. The development is similar to a natural process called diapause, which slows down pregnancy when an embryo is lacking proper nutrition. Once the mTOR inhibitors were stopped, the embryos continued to grow and develop into healthy mice. Among the takeaways, researchers think the discovery could provide help for cancer patients by mimicking the diapause process and suppressing the growth of cancer cells. They did, however, note that much more research is needed on this front, as preliminary data suggests that growth of cancer cells can begin again after the mTOR inhibitors are lifted. Cancer isn’t the only area the discovery could affect. Researchers are also looking into its impact on the field of assisted reproduction, as the data suggested the dormant stage created by mTOR inhibitors could be used, instead of freezing, to help doctors test embryos for genetic defects. Even though it was unexpected, the mTOR discovery can revolutionize expectations for cancer treatment. Life Credit CompanyWe are a licensed consumer lender that is dedicated to providing...