Annually since 1999, we have attained an increasing reduction in cancer-related deaths, an encouraging trend which is poised to continue as scientists learn more and more about what may cause cancer and consequently are able to identify new and better treatment options. However, cancer continues to be among the foremost causes of death in the US, second only to heart disease – making it essential to continue to push forward with persistence to find a cure.
Here’s what we’ve observed to date in cancer research news:
- Diet makes a difference. Although a meal plan high in antioxidants can help minimize cell damage (and protect against cancer), a newly-released research study indicated that in some cases, cancers make use of a nutrient-rich diet, leading to accelerated metastasis. Because of this, the advice is to refrain from using antioxidant supplements except when a doctor recommends them. Get your antioxidants from fruits, veggies, and beans instead, because the extra molecules in whole food make the difference. Additionally, a connection is suspected between sugary beverages (soda, artificially sweetened drinks, as well as 100% fruit juice) and an elevated danger of cancer.
- Cancer may develop before birth. Notably, acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is known to stem from a mutation that develops in utero, brought on when infection is first introduced. The recommendation is to ensure children are introduced to germs in the first year of life, to teach the immune system to deal with pathogens and avoid the secondary mutation that triggers leukemia.
- The emphasis is moving to immunotherapy. Those who’ve experienced the ravages of chemotherapy’s side effects are going to be relieved at the newest treatment advances, which emphasize immunotherapy which enables the targeting of only the cancer cells themselves. A clinical trial of a “cancer vaccine,” in combination with a light dose of radiation, has already shown promising results.
- The financial impact may be overwhelming. A large study of 9.5 million cancer patients revealed an average financial loss of over $92,000, and 42% of these patients were required to exhaust their life savings to fund the cost of just the first two years of treatment. Authors of this study share, “As large financial burdens have been found to adversely affect access to care and outcomes, the active development of approaches to mitigate these effects among already vulnerable groups remains of key importance.”
If you or someone you love is being confronted with the difficulties of cancer, we can help. Our professional in-home care team can plan healthy meals, pick up prescriptions, provide accompaniment to scheduled appointments, and offer the emotional encouragement necessary to focus on healing. Give us a call at (269) 963-9888 for help and support from experts in home care Portage, MI and the surrounding area has to offer! To learn more about the other areas we serve in southwest Michigan, please visit our Service Area page or call our other offices at (269) 373-5444 (Kalamazoo, MI), (269) 763-5350 (Paw Paw, MI) or (269) 849-9252 (St. Joseph, MI).