May 2017 - Life Credit Company

New Research Could Provide Assistance for Cancer Patients

Theories abound about how best to curb the growth of cancer cells. One body of thought about a decade ago focused on “starving” cells — an approach that had many hopeful but was ultimately unsuccessful. Recent research, however, adds new dimensions to the theory, which has many in the scientific community working toward breakthrough assistance for cancer patients. ‘Starving’ cancer  The original research approached cancer cells with a basic truth about all human cells: The main ingredient needed for growth is oxygen. A tumor essentially is “fed” through oxygen in the blood vessels but is so dependent on oxygen that it begins to grow its own blood vessels to keep itself supporters. Researchers initially thought that if they could interrupt that growth process, they could effectively starve the tumor of oxygen and kill it. A series of anti-angiogenesis drugs sought to do just that, but researchers found that, when the oxygen supply was lessened, cells were ready with a back-up plan: Protein production went into overdrive to protect the cells. The reactions that followed are known as hypoxia, and that’s where scientists are now focusing their efforts. A new approach Researchers are now working to curb some of the reactions that occur during hypoxia. Particularly, they’re focusing on the production of the proteins HIF-1 and HIF-2, which can help cancer cells thrive and multiply, even when oxygen levels are low. Several years ago, scientists at the University of Texas discovered what could be HIF-2’s Achilles’ heel: The protein has a large cavity inside of it. That revelation led to the development of the drug PT2399, which burrows into and...

Those Without Financial Resources for Cancer Patients May Skip Meds

The climbing costs of cancer treatments are causing some people, especially younger folks, to alter their pill regimens to protect their financial health — but they may be doing serious harm to their physical health. According to a national study, about a third of cancer patients under 65 years old in some way changed their medication because of financial reasons; only about 20 percent of Americans without cancer changed up their meds because of money. How people adjusted their regimens varied, researchers found. Some cancer patients delayed filling a prescription until they were able to save more. Others cut down on their prescribed amounts to stretch their batch of medicine out longer. Some patients looked for cheaper alternative therapies, avoiding their prescribed pills altogether. The finding is in line with growing research that excessive cancer-care costs are particularly impactful on younger populations. One study found that nearly half of adult cancer patients reported a “high financial burden” from cancer treatment, and that number increased the younger the patient was. Stress over cancer-related finances isn’t just an emotional concern; research has pointed to a trend called financial toxicity, in which worries over health-care costs can have a direct impact on a patient’s physical health. The research suggests the need for financial resources for cancer patients to help them focus their efforts on managing their illness, without the distraction of finances. For instance, LifeCredit offers living benefit loans that enable cancer patients to receive up to half of their insurance policy’s death benefit. Financial resources for cancer patients can be life-saving, which is why it’s important that health-care providers are aware...

Exercise Can Provide Help for Breast Cancer Patients Against Recurrence

Exercise is one of the most universal recommendations for reducing health risks. From diabetes to heart disease to joint problems, breaking a sweat has been shown to help protect people from an array of health conditions. It’s also being looked to by those who are on the mend from medical issues, particularly people who have conquered a cancer diagnosis. Benefits of exercise A new study is touting exercise as providing the greatest amount of help for cancer patients in their recovery process. The Canadian-based research focused on female survivors of breast cancer, examining the impact of a range of lifestyle factors on the patients’ risk for recurrence or death. Women were able to significantly reduce their risk of breast cancer returning, and of a recurrence being fatal, by incorporating workouts into their routines. Those who had at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five days a week, or 75 minutes of intense activity per week, showed the best results. While exercise can offer help for cancer patients looking to stay on the right track, getting active after major surgery or treatments like chemotherapy can be both a physical and emotional challenge. Researchers suggested health-care providers can be particularly influential in explaining the benefits of exercise to their patients and working with them to develop routines that fit into their daily lives.  Other helpful choices Weight management often goes hand in hand with exercise, and the researchers not surprisingly found that as well in this study. The report indicates that weight gain of at least 10 percent after a breast cancer diagnosis enhances both recurrence and mortality rates. Obese...