Financial Help for Cancer Patients is Here

Learn about financial help for cancer patients, life insurance loans, borrowing against your life insurance death benefit, viatical settlements, and many other topics. Life Credit Company thrives on being your resource when it comes to financial help for cancer patients.

Deferment for Active Cancer Treatment Act

Student loan debt affects millions of Americans, causing crippling debt that has become an unfortunate fact of life that has impacted most for decades. What many don’t consider is what happens when other pressing financial concerns present themselves, such as in the case of a cancer diagnosis. The intersection of student loan debt and cancer payments may seem insurmountable at first, but thankfully there are options to help ease these burdens. The Deferment for Active Cancer Treatment Act is one of the primary ways patients can balance student loan debt and cancer costs, helping them maintain their financial health in order to get back on the path to physical health. Before this legislation was enacted in 2018, the process for having student loan deferred during cancer treatment was uncertain and came with lots of red tape. Lenders typically approved such requests arbitrarily, with little formal protocol in place and, even if payments were temporarily halted, loan holders still accrued interest at the same rate. As many know, student loan interest can significantly add to the overall amount owed, so simply allowing people to stop their monthly payments for a time wasn’t much of a help for cancer patients. That’s where the Deferment for Active Cancer Treatment Act comes in. The legislation amended the Higher Education Act of 1965 to mandate that lenders must allow those in active cancer treatment to pause their loan payments as well as stop accruing interest during the deferment period. Once the patients are back on their feet, they simply resume their payments just as they had before. The bill was supported by a bipartisan... read more

How to Manage Neuropathic Pain during Cancer Treatment

Side effects of cancer treatment are varied, depending on the type of therapy, the individual diagnosis, and the person’s body; however, it’s fair to say most cancer patients will have to deal with some unfortunate side effects. The most known effects of chemotherapy are hair loss and nausea, but this treatment and others can cause a host of other negative physical impacts. Neuropathic cancer pain is one phenomenon associated with a number of chemo drugs. Neuropathy, which occurs after damage to the peripheral nerves, may present as numbness, tingling and burning in the hands and feet, numbness around the mouth, loss of sensation, constipation, physical disorientation, and weakness. Patients who have previously been treated with chemotherapy and those who have been diagnosed with diabetes, alcoholism or malnutrition are all at higher risk for neuropathic cancer pain. While each patient’s case is different, according to Healthline, there are a number of home remedies for neuropathic pain that may provide some relief, such as: Exercise: Regular exercise, to the extent that is safe and comfortable for patients, promotes proper blood flow, can reduce blood pressure and slow nerve damage. Warm bath: Warm water can help increase blood flow, which may decrease the symptoms of neuropathy. Essential oils: Chamomile and lavender are especially known to decrease inflammation and promote circulation. Meditation: Already used by many cancer patients, meditation can be particularly beneficial for helping patients to learn to overcome neuropathic cancer pain. Acupuncture: Stimulating pressure points can trigger the body to release chemicals that help it manage pain. Vitamins: Vitamin B, either in food or as a pill, is especially helpful for... read more

3 Reasons Against Viatical Settlements

If you’re facing a financial crisis because of a medical diagnosis, you may be considering selling a life insurance policy. On the surface, this option may seem like the right path, if you can net enough money to pay your bills and live out the rest of your days without focusing on finances. However, for those with terminal illnesses, selling a life insurance policy through a process known as a viatical settlement can have many unintended side effects — putting your financial health, and that of your family, at risk. So just why are viaticals a bad investment? Here are three of the primary reasons to steer clear of these settlements and consider instead options like LifeCredit’s Living Benefits Loans, in which you simply borrow against — and not sell — your life insurance policy. 1. Jeopardizing Your Finances When you enter into a viatical settlement, you’re selling a life insurance policy for less than it’s worth. You’re not only cheating yourself out of that money you deserve but you may also be jeopardizing your current income. Because of the influx of cash, you may be cut off from income-based benefits like Medicaid — again, these are benefits you deserve and have paid into; however, the viatical settlement may mean this income that you likely count on could end. Additionally, you will have to pay taxes on the amount you receive in the viatical settlement, which could significantly reduce the total. 2. A Gamble with Time Those who are considering selling a life insurance policy may have received a terminal diagnosis and are likely scrambling to get their affairs... read more

Better Skincare During Cancer Treatment

Looking your best can have you really feeling your best — and that’s particularly important for cancer patients. We all know how satisfying it is when our skin is smooth, our nails buffed and polished, and our hair perfectly styled but for those undergoing treatment for cancer, finding that fulfillment can be especially hard. Many patients encounter challenges and changes to skincare during chemo and other therapies to treat cancer. As the treatments attack and kill cancer cells, they are also affecting skin cells, the body’s first and most visible line of defense against the outside world. Rashes, dry and brittle nails, and itching skin are all common impacts on skincare during cancer treatments, along with the more well-known side effect of hair loss in chemo patients. In a way, changing skin health can be a good thing, as it signifies cellular changes, suggesting a treatment is heading in the right direction; however, for patients who are already battling serious side effects, disruptions to their lives and financial stress, having another thing to worry about will seem like anything but positive news. And while effects on skin health may seem a nuisance in the grand scheme of obstacles that cancer patients are facing, dry, cracked skin can be extremely painful as well as put patients at further risk of infection, meaning it’s important that they take skincare during cancer treatments seriously. There are ways that patients can promote skin health — before, during and after treatment. Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center advises patients to begin a skincare regimen about one week before undergoing chemotherapy. The facility suggests using fragrance-free products, such... read more

5 Common Types of Cancer Treatment

Exploring the many different types of cancer treatment that are available may seem overwhelming to many patients. Each patient’s individual diagnosis and prognosis should dictate the course of treatment, as no two cancers are exactly alike and need unique approaches to ensure the optimal chance for success. There are pros and cons to all of the treatments, such as recovery time and side effects, which patients should review with their team of oncologists to determine which treatment may be best. No matter the course that is decided, patients should also explore options for financial assistance, such as Life Credit’s Living Benefit Loan program, through which they can borrow against their life insurance to pay for lifesaving care. Determining the best course of action can be challenging, but paying for it shouldn’t be. So review these top five most common types of cancer treatment and then make a plan to get back on the path to health: Surgery: This option is most often used for cancers that have not spread and are localized. Skilled surgeons will remove the tumor in either open or minimally invasive surgery. The patient may be cleared following surgery or could need additional treatments. Radiology: Some patients will utilize radiation therapy to attack and kill cancer cells. This is a more prolonged treatment than surgery but is often very effective. Depending on their case, patients may undergo external beam radiation therapy in which a machine directs the radiation into the body, or internal radiation, in which the person ingests a pill or liquid form of radiation. Chemotherapy: This is one of the most known treatments because... read more

How to Choose a Cancer Treatment Center

A cancer diagnosis brings with it a seemingly endless list of questions: which treatment to pursue, how to get financial assistance for cancer patients, how to continue to manage daily responsibilities and countless other concerns. Before getting to those details, however, patients need to find a cancer treatment center and assemble a team of qualified experts. According to the American Cancer Society, selecting who will deliver the care is perhaps the most important decision cancer patients will make in their journey. ACS offers a number of tips for those exploring how to find a cancer treatment center that is well-versed in their particular diagnosis. ACS advises that one of the best places to start is with the physician who diagnosed the cancer, as he or she may have experience with particular centers or hospitals that would be a good match. Even if the physician offers a suggestion, it’s important to consider several options in the quest to find a cancer treatment center. Patients should determine which facilities have specific experience with the kind of cancer they’re facing and meet in person with the team of specialists to have all of their questions answered upfront. Beyond experience, consider location, travel time and availability of clinical trials. There are also certain standards that patients may want to ensure their top choices meet. The Joint Commission, for instance, has a thorough accreditation process that cancer facilities must meet. Those looking to find a cancer treatment center will want to make sure their potential picks meet the minimum accreditation threshold. The Commission on Cancer also has a comprehensive list of 1,500 cancer centers... read more