Help for Cancer Patients Archives - Life Credit Company

Targeting Health Cells Could Provide Help for Cancer Patients

Promising research suggests a new method for attacking cancer cells, which scientists hope can ultimately lead to even more breakthroughs to prevent the spread of the disease. Researchers recently found that blocking the enzyme NOX4 can slow or halt the progress of cancer. Though many more studies are needed on the subject — pointing to the overall need for financial help for cancer patients and the research community — the recent report identifies a potential way forward. What does the science say? Scientists at University of Southampton focused their study on fibroblasts, which help hold together organs. However, when a person develops cancer, fibroblasts transform into cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs), which have been known to speed up the spread of tumor growth. NOX4 is vital to the development of CAFs — meaning that if that enzyme could be stopped, the cancer itself may be as well. What happens next?  There are several potential impacts of the study, among them the development of new drug therapies. If a pharmaceutical regimen can be developed that specifically attacks NOX4, that could be a lifesaving intervention for cancer patients, researchers say. Cancer Research UK is also using the results of the study to examine current chemotherapy and immunotherapy practices. Researchers will explore if there are ways to enhance modern techniques to specifically target NOX4, ultimately making them more effective. Life Credit CompanyWe are a licensed consumer lender that is dedicated to providing financial assistance for patients who are facing serious illness. With a Living Benefit Loan, from Life Credit Company, you can receive up to 50% of your life insurance policy’s death benefit today....

Certain Cancers Can Crave Sugar

Just as some humans have more of a sweet tooth than others, it turns out some types of cancer cells may crave sugar more strongly than others. The connection between sugar intake and cancer has long been the focus of research aimed at providing help for cancer patients and those at risk — and a new study shows just why it should be. According to a report featured in Nature Communications, the sugary appeal of sweets may be putting people at increased risk for cancer growth and recurrence. Researchers at University of Texas at Dallas sought to investigate if there are any differences in sugar dependence among two types of lung cancer: adenocarcinoma (ADC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SqCC). During their work, the scientists discovered that a protein involved with sugar transport was present at much higher levels in SqCC than ADC. That elevated level increases the cells’ “appetite” for sugar, the researchers found, and fuels cell growth. The scientists also found high dependence on sugar in other types of squamous cell cancers, including esophageal, cervical, head and neck. So how can this information provide help for cancer patients? First, the data has prompted researchers to consider new therapies, including one that would inhibit levels of the protein that carries glucose. In initial tests with such an inhibitor, researchers found slowed — though not completely halted — growth of SqCC. Scientists are now in the midst of organizing a large animal study on lung cancer using a sugar-restricted diet. Depending on those outcomes, scientists could use the data to develop new recommendations — which can offer dietary help for...

Blood Test Can Provide Help for Cancer Patients in Remission

Help for cancer patients may be coming quicker than ever before, thanks to a medical breakthrough. Nearly half of all people in remission from lung cancer will experience a recurrence. That’s why that population was chosen as the target demographic for a study that sought to prioritize early detection of cancer recurrence. What did the study find?  The research was led by scientists at Francis Crick Institute in London, who used samples from patients’ lung tumors to develop a unique genetic analysis of each patient’s cancer. Once the tumors were removed, researchers drew blood from the patients every three months and analyzed the samples for traces of cancer DNA, which could suggest that a tumor was re-growing. The method ultimately was able to tip off 13 out of 14 patients who did eventually see a recurrence. While other tests and scans would have likely been able to pinpoint the return of cancer, the blood test was able to pick it up when a tumor was just .3 cubic millimeters in size. That means the news came up to a year ahead of any other detection method. Interpreting the results The speed at which the blood test can alert a patient to the recurrence can ensure help for cancer patients is provided swiftly, lessening the likelihood that a tumor will grow unnoticed. Early detection is key when it comes to catching and treating cancer, so researchers are hailing the test as a significant breakthrough. The team that pioneered this method also saw another milestone with the genetic-testing portion of their research. In that portion of the work, the researchers found...

Vitamin C Could Provide Help for Cancer Patients

We’ve all heard the phrase “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” but new research suggests that another fruit should also be on our radar. Scientists in Great Britain found that Vitamin C — found in great volumes in oranges — can provide significant help for cancer patients. Instead of buying oranges in bulk, however, researchers suggested introducing the vitamin in a more direct way. They injected patients with very high doses of Vitamin C — about 500 times more than what they would get by increasing their consumption of oranges, kale, peppers and other Vitamin C-rich foods. Researchers found that this method was actually able to combat cancer 10 times more effectively than some cancer drugs. The vitamin, comprised of ascorbic acid, prevents the breakdown of glucose in cancer stem cells, which stops the mitochondria from thriving. The process ultimately starves the stem cells, which are vital to the growth of a tumor. The benefits of Vitamin C for cancer treatment have been studied for decades, but this is the first study to specifically examine the impact on cancer stem cell growth. Researchers involved with this trial said the results were “promising” and could signal a new course of help for cancer patients, especially when combined with chemotherapy. But, the study is not without controversy, or critics. Some scientists have cautioned that previous studies on Vitamin C have shown the nutrient can trigger a process that damages DNA, and others suggested it could actually interfere with some elements of chemo. Most importantly, researchers emphasized that, since the study focused on injectable Vitamin C, cancer patients need to...

New Immunotherapy Provides Help for Cancer Patients

Cutting-edge cancer research is taking place across the world every day, and one recent study has produced some promising results. In a small research project conducted at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, scientists found high rates of remission in patients who underwent a unique chemotherapy program followed by an immune-based treatment. Though the research suggests a new way to provide help for cancer patients, particularly those facing blood cancers, it is not without its limitations. What the study says The study involved 32 patients diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, who had unsuccessfully tried other therapies. Each was given chemotherapy, of varying regimens, to attack and kill cancerous cells, before an immunotherapy called CAR-T was introduced. That approach involves the introduction of healthy T cells that have been genetically modified to destroy any remaining cancer cells. The researchers found the best results when patients were given a chemotherapy regimen that incorporated two drugs: 64 percent of those patients went into remission, while only 8 percent of the patients who received chemo with one drug achieved remission. Pros and cons Previous research has indicated the value of immunotherapy, but this study took that finding a bit further with its high remission rates. However, there are some drawbacks. Once the engineered T cells were re-introduced to patients, many had negative side effects. For instance, more than half experienced low blood pressure and inflammation, a few had to be admitted to the intensive care unit and others developed language problems. The study proved fatal for two of the patients, those who received the highest dose of the T cells. While help for cancer patients...

Ways Spirituality Can Provide Help for Cancer Patients

Spirituality is often a taboo topic, which many people avoid talking about out of uncertainty regarding others’ feelings on the subject. However, for some people facing a cancer diagnosis, spirituality can provide help for cancer patients through comfort and peace in a time when it is needed most. According to a report in the Washington Post, having faith in a higher power can have real results for people dealing with disaster. For instance, those who relied on spirituality in the trying days following Hurricane Katrina had better mental-health outcomes than those who didn’t report strong ties to their faith. That stat continued a few years later after floods hit South Carolina; those who “surrendered” to spirituality were found to be more resilient and better able to cope. Spirituality can also be a help for cancer patients, many of whom are left wondering after a diagnosis why they were afflicted, what their future holds and what will happen to them and their families if the worst happens. Some of the anxiety over not having answers to those tough questions can be alleviated by spirituality, as such faith typically dictates that a higher power, not us, is in charge. Giving up the control, then, may make some people more at peace with their diagnosis, lowering stress levels, which can even contribute to better health outcomes. Some people, however, are turned off by the idea of spirituality, perhaps mistakenly associating it with religion — an area that can be politically or morally charged. It’s an important distinction to make, as religion is traditionally a communal exercise, while spirituality is a more individualized...