Life Credit Company, Author at 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...

Financial Counselors Can Advise Cancer Patients

Cancer patients are likely inundated with questions. At first, they may be focused on their diagnosis and prognosis, but more issues may arise as treatment and therapies begin, such as how to manage their everyday tasks like work and raising kids when they’re dealing with such pressing medical problems, or the best way to tackle mounting medical bills. Many of the uncertainties cancer patients have regard finances, which have been very intertwined with cancer care. Increasingly, patients are turning to financial counselors to seek guidance and explore resources, such as financial assistance and programs that allow patients to borrow against life insurance. Benefits of a financial counselor A cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming, as can the financial problems a diagnosis brings. In such a time of crisis, patients should be focused on their physical and mental health, not their financial wellness. That’s where a financial counselor can come in. Such individuals are trained to know the ins and outs of the financial world, and it’s becoming more common for financial counselors to have specific training regarding assistance for cancer patients. With that knowledge, they can walk patients through how to work with insurance companies, identify financial pitfalls to watch out for, suggest ways to save or cut corners and teach them which medical bills to prioritize. In addition to financial education, financial counselors can offer important resources they’ve learned about from their work in the industry. For instance, with Life Credit’s programs, patients can borrow against life insurance to provide needed financial relief. Things to consider While financial counselors can be extremely beneficial, patients should also keep some aspects...

Chemotherapy May Cause Cancer to Spread

Chemotherapy is one of the primary methods of cancer treatment, utilized to kill cancerous cells and stop the continued spread of the disease. However, a new study is raising questions about the effectiveness of chemo, suggesting that, in some instances, it could be doing as much harm as it is good. This research could provide much-needed financial assistance for cancer patients in the form of less treatment. Researchers recently published a study that explored the impact of chemotherapy for breast cancer patients. Breast cancer is among the forms of the disease most impacted by metastasis, or the spread of cancer cells to other parts of the body, which can significantly increase the patient’s risk of death. While chemo was found to be effective in killing tumor cells, researchers also found a number of unintended outcomes. As the chemo attacks the cells, it was also found to activate a repair mechanism that in some instances could allow tumors to ultimately reform. It also facilitates a process known as intravasation, which scientists likened to the development of gateways that introduce cancer cells to other parts of the body. Currently, most breast cancer patients undergo chemotherapy before any attempts at surgery, but the research suggests some alternate approaches. Researchers proposed breast cancer patients should be monitored in the beginning stages of chemo, with tumor tissue extractions after a few doses to identify any spread of the cancer. If so, chemo should be discontinued in favor of surgery, the researchers said. The study was focused on breast cancer, but researchers plan to expand the scope to see if the results are similar for...

Japanese Researchers Capture Cancer Spreading on Film

The spread of cancer from one part of the body to another is both hard to control and greatly contributes to a patient’s risk of death. Understanding how and why cancer cells spread is key to lowering one’s risk and providing potentially lifesaving help for cancer patients. New research out of Japan taps into technology to explore this process. According to BBC News, a team of scientists devised a method for observing cancer cells in mice as they grow and evolve, giving researchers a firsthand look at that process. In the study, the lab animals were injected with cancer cells, targeted toward their lungs, intestines, and livers, which were enhanced to light up on imaging. The cancer was left to grow before scientists administered a chemical that made the mice’s internal organs nearly transparent. The materials used caused the healthy tissue to reflect a shade of green and the cancerous cells to appear red, allowing researchers to see very clearly clusters of cells, patterns, and shapes, which were previously harder to identify without such imaging technology. With the new breakthrough, researchers can not only better identify where cancerous cells are located, but they can also gain integral insight into how the disease spreads from one area to another. That knowledge can inform new therapies that offer needed help for cancer patients to avoid further spread or recurrence of cancer. The method is still in its early stages and has so far only been tested in mice, but researchers envision human trials as the next phase of the project. “I hope this tissue-clearing and 3D imaging of human samples will...