October 2017 - Life Credit Company

Could Alcohol Raise Skin Cancer Risk?

Everyone has heard that exposure to the sun can increase your chances of developing skin cancer. But now researchers are exploring the possibility that something else many people encounter frequently could also be compromising their health. Significant alcohol consumption is widely accepted to be a health hazard, and could be putting people at increased risk for skin cancer. The link between alcohol and skin cancer has been a source for study for some time, and a team from Brown University and Harvard Medical School recently delved deeper into the topic. Researchers undertook a review of several-hundred studies focused on the link between alcohol consumption and the development of basal and squamous-cell carcinomas — the two primary forms of skin cancer — which included about 95,000 cases. According to the study, an increase of 10 grams a day in alcohol consumption can up a person’s risk for skin cancer. Specifically, that amount increases basal-cell risk by 7 percent and squamous-cell risk by 11 percent. To put those numbers in context, 10 grams of alcohol is less than just one standard beer or glass of wine. So, what does the research mean for cancer prevention? The study highlights the need for increased awareness about the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption. Unlike some genetic predispositions for cancer, alcohol consumption is behavior-related; the more people understand the link between drinking and skin cancer, the greater the likelihood they’ll avoid dangerous behaviors. While prevention is often targeted to populations who have never had a diagnosis, skin cancer is often a very survivable disease, and those who have beat it in the past should be...

The Financial Side Effect of Cancer

The side effects of cancer treatments are well-known: Some people may experience nausea, changes in weight and loss of hair from chemotherapy. Others may face loss of appetite, pain and fatigue from their pill regimens. Side effects can often be severe and can make a patient’s road to recovery seem blocked with obstacles and challenges. One roadblock that the cancer community is starting to consider as equally damaging as the physical side effects of treatment are the financial ones. The term “financial toxicity” is gaining increasing prominence among researchers and patients alike, as it describes the phenomenon of economic hardship caused by a cancer diagnosis. As more and more patients face financial struggles, however, programs are being developed to provide money for cancer patients — so they can focus on getting physically and financially health. Risk factors Like with physical side effects, some patients may be more vulnerable to financial struggles than others, including those who are: Uninsured Under-insured Unemployed Sole breadwinner for a family Lacking a savings The medical impact  While financial toxicity can weigh on the wallet, what can it do to a patient’s health? Increase stress, which has been linked to poorer treatment outcomes Cause the patient to alter a medication regimen or skip treatments in an attempt to save money, which can hinder recovery Create an overall poorer quality of life, which can put a patient at increased risk for mortality Combatting financial toxicity What can be done to fend off financial toxicity? To help patients close the financial gap caused by their diagnosis, services have been developed that provide money for cancer patients. Life...