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.
Tanning beds are costing Americans much more than the sticker price. Artificial tanning has long been linked to increased risk for skin cancer. A new study, however, found that those stats don’t seem to be deterring people from flocking to tanning salons. So, what will slow that trend? Researchers at the University of North Carolina explored the economic impact of skin cancer that could have developed from artificial tanning, with some staggering results. What are the numbers? Researchers looked at the lifestyles of Americans diagnosed with skin cancer in 2015 to determine how prevalent “fake tanning” was. They ultimately suggested that there were as many as 263,000 cases of skin cancer in 2015 that could have been caused by artificial tanning. More specifically, there were 168,000 cases of basal cell carcinomas, 86,6000 cases of squamous cell carcinomas and 9,000 incidents of melanoma, all of which could be attributed to tanning devices. From there, they determined it would cost more than $343 million to treat skin cancer patients who contracted the disease after using tanning devices. Even more alarming is the total economic impact of tanning-related cancer on patients over their lifetimes: a loss of $127.3 billion. The steep statistics highlight the need for skin cancer financial assistance, to help patients after a diagnosis, but also the work that lays ahead to discourage Americans from stepping into a tanning device to begin with. What’s next? According to the study, a whopping 30-million Americans use artificial tanning devices every year — and that’s despite very popular knowledge that such practices have been linked to skin cancer. The federal government recently tightened... read more
Once the initial shock of a cancer diagnosis has worn off, patients and their families will likely have one thing in sight: beating the disease. Focusing on the light at the end of the tunnel, the day when the patient is cancer-free, is an important motivator that can strengthen and empower patients to reach the finish line. But the finish line won’t be without its challenges. Many cancer survivors are left with significant financial hardships related to their disease and treatment. The financial landscape Treatment costs likely inflict the greatest financial burden after a diagnosis. From chemo and pill regimens to hospital stays and co-pays, the bills can add up, and quickly. But it’s not all medical costs, as a number of less-expected bills may also crop up. The loss of wages from time off or medical leave can hit the wallet hard. A change in lifestyle can also mean a change in finances. For instance, a patient may need to hire someone to help out around the house, watch their kids or even walk the dog, all of which come with a price tag. How to be prepared The financial landscape for cancer patients is a daunting one, but the good news is that there is financial help for cancer patients. Preparation is key to being able to overcome financial hurdles. Patients should work closely with financial counselors and advisors, which are offered at many care centers. They can be a fountain of resources and knowledgeable advice. Such representatives are a good source for information about financial-assistance programs at pharmaceutical companies. It’s important to get such requests in... read more
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... read more
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... read more
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... read more
Getting a successful outcome from a cancer-research study is just one step of a very long process. Key in that journey to providing assistance for cancer patients is replication — that the research can be conducted again, with the same results. If replication fails, does that mean success is out of reach? That’s a question researchers are trying to answer. The issue was recently tackled by the Center for Open Science. After seeing a trend of cancer research not being able to be replicated, COS undertook its own study. So far, researchers completed five of 50 replication attempts, and found three of the studies showed markedly different results from the originals. Of those, two had already progressed to the point where scientists were testing the experiments on people, instead of lab animals, a multi-million-dollar undertaking. So where did things go wrong? That’s still up for debate. According to analysis by NPR, there are a number of possible explanations: Biological variations among lab animals involved Laboratory techniques may be slightly different The definition of “replication” isn’t clearly or universally defined While there’s no firm answer yet on what could be causing the studies to lack agreement, what is clear is that more research is needed to ensure that studies aiming to provide assistance for cancer patients are making the most of researchers’ resources. “I think it’s too early for us to know whether this approach is the right approach or the best approach for testing the reproducibility of cancer biology,” University of Texas researcher Sean Morrison told NPR about the replication study. “But it will be a data point, and... read more