September 20, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

senior woman with cancer and daughter

On an annual basis since 1999, we have achieved an increasing decrease in cancer-related deaths, an encouraging trend that is poised to continue as scientists learn more and more about the causes of cancer and are in a position to identify new and better treatment options. But, cancer remains among the primary causes of death in America, second only to heart disease – making it important to continue to press ahead with determination to find a cure.

Here is what we’ve observed to date:

  • Diet is important. Although a meal plan rich in antioxidants can help minimize cell damage (and protect against cancer), a newly released study indicated that in some cases, cancers capitalize on a nutrient-rich diet, bringing about hastened metastasis. For that reason, the recommendation is to refrain from using antioxidant supplements unless the doctor recommends them. Get your antioxidants from fruits, veggies, and beans instead, because the additional molecules in whole food has an impact. Furthermore, a connection is suspected between sugary beverages (soda, artificially sweetened drinks, as well as 100% fruit juice) and an increased risk of cancer.
  • Cancer may develop before birth. In particular, acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is known to stem from a mutation that evolves in utero, brought on when infection is first introduced. The recommendation is to make sure children are introduced to germs in the first year of life, to teach the immune system to cope with pathogens and stop the secondary mutation that produces leukemia.
  • The emphasis is moving to immunotherapy. People who’ve experienced the ravages of chemotherapy’s side effects will likely be relieved at the most recent treatment advances, which center on immunotherapy that enables the targeting of just the cancer cells themselves. A clinical trial of a “cancer vaccine,” in combination with a light dose of radiation, has recently shown promising results.
  • The monetary impact may be tremendous. A large study of 9.5 million cancer patients revealed an average financial loss of over $92,000, as 42% of these patients were required to exhaust their life savings to fund the price of just the first couple of years of treatment. Authors of the research 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 care about is going through the challenges of cancer, At Home Independent Living can help. Our specialized in-home care team can prepare healthy meals, pick up prescription medications, provide accompaniment to scheduled appointments, and offer the emotional encouragement essential to focus on healing. Contact us at (315) 579-HOME (4663) for more information about our respite care services in Syracuse, NY and the surrounding communities.