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Colorectal screenings could save lives, study finds
Date: 2013-06-25 18:18:11

A new study published in the journal JAMA Surgery has demonstrated that routine colonoscopies can have a significant impact on the health of individuals, and may help extend one's life.

"Compliance to screening colonoscopy guidelines can play an important role in prolonging longevity, improving quality of life, and reducing healthcare costs through early detection of colon cancer," wrote the study's researchers, from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, respectively.

Close to 1,100 patients who were treated for colon cancer were examined in the report, with their medical outcomes factored into the overall results. In 217 cases, colorectal screenings helped individuals gain a diagnosis of the condition.

Those who did not undergo screenings were almost double as likely to have an invasive tumor than those did have them done, HealthDay News reported.

There are a few tests that can be taken to determine whether an individual is affected by colorectal cancer, including a fecal occult blood test, sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy and a barium enema. In addition, the National Cancer Institute notes that individuals can take a DNA stool test and virtual colonoscopy.

As of 2009 - the most recent year statistics were taken - the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that 136,717 people in the U.S. were diagnosed and affected by colorectal cancer, of whom 70,223 were men and 66,494 were women.

This is an important finding that suggests that individuals who monitor potential health conditions may be poised to enjoy better overall wellness if they take preventative steps early on.

The first move that people can make to gain control of their health is to have a lab test done today. With a lab test online, individuals can enhance their understanding of their bodies and gain a better idea of how their health is shaping up.

... Full Story

Men with prostate cancer may want to say 'yes' to vegetable fat
Date: 2013-06-11 17:32:49

Nearly 30,000 men die of prostate cancer in the U.S. each year, according to the National Cancer Institute. This is one of the many reasons why men - especially those who are middle-aged - should get regular blood tests to make sure that they are healthy. Obesity is one of the main risk factors for developing this disease, so men need to make sure they eat healthy foods if they want to reduce their chances of having prostate cancer.

Recently, researchers the University of California, San Francisco, found that one change men who are either concerned about prostate cancer or already have the disease may want to make to their diets is to replace carbohydrates and animal fat with vegetable fat. The scientists found that doing this may help reduce the risk of death in men with non​-metastatic prostate cancer.

Vegetable fat is superior ... Full Story

Are cancer patients reluctant to talk about the costs of treatment?
Date: 2013-06-06 13:09:00

Cancer treatments can be costly, which is why many individuals prefer to take lab tests outside of a traditional healthcare setting. Doing so can ensure that people gain results and greater insight into their own health and wellness.

However, many individuals are unaware of the benefits of undergoing a FSH test or other related procedure outside of a clinical environment. These patients may continue to get assistance solely from doctors, but may be hesitant to ask about the costs of treatment up front, according to a recent study by the Duke Cancer Institute.

According to researchers, some people express fears that discussing their financial reservations about treatment will compromise the quality of care that they receive from healthcare providers. However, bringing these concerns up may be beneficial in more ways than one.

"Even my patients with insurance were asking for less expensive medications and less frequent visits [since they couldn't afford the travel costs]," said study lead author Yousuf Zafar, M.D., an assistant professor at the Duke Cancer Institute. "There's this undercurrent of expenses that patients are facing that often goes unseen."

Researchers recruited about 300 patients who were being treated at clinics in North Carolina, as well as Duke Health. They learned that more than half of the individuals taking part in the study wanted to discuss the costs of treatment options with medical staff, but less than 20 percent actually did so.

Surprisingly, 57 percent of participants who did discuss their financial reservations with healthcare professionals found that doing so helped them find more economical alternatives for treatment. This suggests more people should be forthright about their concerns.

According to the American Cancer Society, the overall expenses of cancer treatment can be hefty, but for those who plan ahead and have health insurance, the impact may be less substantial.

Individuals being treated for cancer typically undergo office visits, lab tests, imaging tests, procedures for treatment or diagnosis, medication costs and lengthy home care. Speaking with a healthcare professional about financial planning can be beneficial for relieving some of the financial strain of this life event.

... Full Story

Study finds cancer survivors affected by anxiety
Date: 2013-06-05 12:30:07

Individuals who are impacted by medical conditions may opt to undergo a lab test outside of a doctor's office to help take command of their own health. While blood testing is one of many medical processes people can engage in without a healthcare provider's interference, for some issues like cancer, people may seek solace from a doctor.

For those who are treated and survive cancer, anxiety may develop, according to the findings of a recent study published in The Lancet Oncology.

Researchers learned that people who have recovered from cancer are increasingly more likely to struggle with nervousness than those who have not been affected by the condition, as are their loved ones, HealthDay News reported.

"Our results suggest that, after a cancer diagnosis, increased rates of anxiety tend to persist in both patients and their relatives," said lead author Alex Mitchell, MBBS, Of Leicester General Hospital in England. "When patients are discharged from hospital care they usually receive only periodic check-ups from their medical teams and this autonomy in the post-acute period can be anxiety-provoking."

Data extracted from 27 publications containing 43 comparison studies revealed cancer survivors were nearly 30 percent more likely to be affected by anxiety two years or more after a diagnosis than individuals never impacted by cancer.

Over the course of 10 years, 50 percent of these individuals were likely to report feelings of nervous tension or stress.

Surprisingly, the partners of cancer survivors were also inclined toward feelings of anxiety over the span of two to 10 years after recovery from the condition. The rates of depression among survivors and their partners were comparable, according to the researchers.

According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, approximately 12 million individuals in the U.S. have a history of cancer. About 60 percent of adults who are cancer survivors are over the age of 65, and 14 percent recovered more than 20 years ago.

... Full Story

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