June brings many challenges for cancer patients and new knowledge can help fight the disease. Insurance companies have taken the fight to the supreme court to try to avoid paying for cancer screening tests. A shortage of two cancer drugs is having a significant impact on cancer patients in the U.S. Obesity has been found to be a rising risk factor for cancer, affecting men and women differently.
Survey Finds Majority of Cancer Patients and Survivors Would be Less Likely to Get Recommended Screenings if Costs Were Added
Thanks to a provision in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that requires evidence-based prevention and early detection at no cost to patients with private insurance, we’ve seen improved access to recommended services that detect disease when it is less costly to treat, and chances of survival are greater reports American Cancer Society. A new ruling in the case Braidwood v Becerra, in the US District Court in Texas, is threatening that access for patients. Patients surveyed said that a cost between $100 to $200 for preventative tests would be a burden to them financially and would be a barrier to getting those lifesaving tests. The cost increase incurred can either be from annual screening or lifesaving treatments. Cancer patients already face challenges in finding a provider due to cost. A patient navigator is also a beneficial service for cancer patients and has been shown to help influence better outcomes. The cost of the navigator can be prohibitive for patients. Insurance cutbacks are a matter of life and death for many cancer patients. Click here for more information.
Carboplatin, Cisplatin Chemotherapy Drug Shortages Delaying Some Cancer Treatments in New York
We’re really in an unprecedented situation in the cancer field, said Dr Richard Carvajal, a medical oncologist who helps run Northwell Health Cancer Institute. Carboplatin and cisplatin shortages are delaying treatment, forcing doctors and patients to make tough choices, according to Carvajal reports CBS News. These two drugs are used in 10 to 20% of cancer patient treatment in New York. Doctors are having to give lower doses or fewer doses of this chemotherapy to patients. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network released a study that found 93% of cancer centers in the U.S. are experiencing this shortage reports CBS News. In January, a large plant in India had quality control problems with much of its supply causing this shortage. Doctors must choose who gets treatment and who does not. The FDA is trying to get the cancer drugs sent from China to help correct the shortage. Patients should talk with their physician about their best option. Click here for more information.
Women and Men Face Different Cancers- Depending on Where Fat Falls
To investigate the links between cancer and obesity among men and women, Rask- Anderson and other researchers turned to the UK Biobank, a biomedical database with genetic and health information from more than half a million participants across the UK reports New York Post. The research has shown that all cancers are influenced by obesity except for brain, cervical, and testicular cancers. Obesity causes men to be more at risk for breast, liver, and kidney cancers. For women, obesity causes them to be more at risk for gallbladder, endometrial, and esophageal cancers. An increase in fat accumulation in the abdomen makes women more at risk for esophageal cancers. An increase in total body fat in men cause a higher risk for liver cancer. Postmenopausal women are at a higher risk for breast cancer when they are obese. Obesity is the fastest growing risk factor for cancer. Click here for more information.
Dana Kaiser is a professional writer and a strong patient advocate, learning from experience during her 22-year career as a nurse.