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Survivor Week 2016: Tackling Finances

Posted on May 31, 2016

This post is a part of the weeklong #LiveBrave series in celebration of Survivor Week.

In addition to the physical and emotional toll a colon cancer diagnosis can have, it can also be a financial burden. In fact, medical debt is the leading cause of bankruptcy in the United States, and we often get calls on our Helpline from patients and survivors with questions and concerns about money.

These concerns are so common that “financial toxicity” is now often explicitly listed as a side effect of cancer care. Financial toxicity refers to the money-related difficulties that can lead people to avoid or delay care, as well as the stress that can lead to mental and physical health problems—potentially as harmful, or more harmful, as chemotherapy itself.

Fortunately, there are many resources, programs and organizations that can provide financial assistance or advice—there’s even some ways you can save while in treatment.

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Young and Brave: Looking Back to Move Forward

Posted on May 24, 2016

In 1998, Baylor University Medical Center (BUMC) published an article looking at colon cancer in patients 40 years and younger. This study surveyed 64 patients to identify risk factors and survival outcomes in this population.  

Researchers saw common symptoms included bleeding, pain and weight loss. Additionally, risk factors, such as inflammatory bowel disease and family history of colorectal cancer and/or polyps, were seen in almost half of the number of patients. Researchers previously thought that in order for young patients to develop colorectal cancer, they would have to have these known risk factors. However, this study proved over 40 percent of the patients did not present any of these risk factors. In terms of survival, the strongest indicator was cancer stage at diagnosis; 50 percent of patients presented cancers at advanced stages. 

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The Colon Cancer Alliance Co-authors Paper on Hereditary Cancer Risk

Posted on May 19, 2016

Do you know your family’s health history? It’s important to ask your parents, grandparents and siblings whether they’ve had colorectal cancer or polyps during a screening.

When it comes to colorectal cancer, about 1 in 4 patients have a family history of colon cancer that could suggest a genetic and/or hereditary factor.

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Into the Weeds: What You Need to Know About Medical Marijuana & CRC Part III

Posted on May 18, 2016

While the use of marijuana has been around for thousands of years, it has only become legal in 24 states and the District of Columbia within recent history. As more states continue to approve marijuana for medical purposes, it’s important to separate the myths from the facts surrounding this drug.

This blog is the third in this series. Read Part I and Part II.

Research Studies

Cannabis research policies vary across the world. For example, Canada and the Netherlands have government-run programs in which specialized companies supply quality-controlled herbal cannabis. The Czech Republic, Israel, Canada and the Netherlands have government-sponsored research programs. 

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Research: The Missing Link

Posted on May 17, 2016

In past blogs, we’ve talked about things our community can do to help advance research and improve treatments for patients facing the challenge of colorectal cancer, including asking Senators to pass the 21st Century Cures Act and supporting the Administration’s Moon Shot initiative. But there is a vital element of advancing research that is outside the control of the scientists who conduct the work and the entities that fund it: clinical trials—the link between scientific discovery and new treatments for colorectal cancer.

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