Radio Interview About My Cancer Journey

Last week, I did a radio interview about the purpose of my new book Surviving Cancer and Embracing Life: My Personal Journey.

 As with the book, the interview is uplifting and describes how I have gotten through my time with pancreatic cancer. The book is free by clicking here. 

You may access the full interview by clicking below. [Note: In the near future, I will be dividing the interview into much smaller clips. :-)]

 

Health Care and Rideshare Services

Will Uber Health and Lyft Concierge succeed among those going to medical providers?

In physically reaching our medical professionals, new options are emerging. And they will give us all more choices and better convenience.

As  Christine Diani reports for FreshMR:

“This year Uber and Lyft formally entered the healthcare market to offer rideshare services to nonemergency patients for transportation to scheduled doctor appointments. Patient no-shows are a prevalent problem in the U.S., with an estimated 3.6 million Americans reportedly missing their scheduled doctor appointments due to transportation issues each year. Rideshare services may particularly benefit older Americans, Medicaid patients, and those with chronic diseases to help keep appointments and get care. Uber and Lyft have identified a wide-open opportunity that could significantly improve their business and simultaneously reduce healthcare costs and improve quality care.”

Uber Health is partnering with healthcare organizations to provide transportation services for patients. Providers access the Uber Health dashboard to order and schedule rideshare services. And patients can use the services even if they don’t have access to a smartphone or Uber app. The healthcare providers can manage the ride scheduling and billing through Uber’s dashboard.”

“Lyft followed suit by offering a healthcare rideshare platform called Lyft Concierge. Lyft partners with Allscripts, the largest electronic health systems provider, to request Lyft rides for patients directly through an integrated platform. Lyft recently expanded its reach by partnering with Formativ Health to provide nonemergency rides for patients.”

However, as this chart shows, Uber and Lyft still have a long way go to win over patients.

Health Care and Ride Share Services

Are Walk-Ins and Virtual Visits for you?

Where do you visit a physician? Are you open to a walk-in clinic?

As patients, there are various ways for us to interact with physicians. Many of us even use multiple ways. Where do YOU fit?

According to Jessica Rudman, research director for financial services and health care at market research firm Maru/Matchbox:

Recently we asked 1,500 Americans about their knowledge of and experience with various settings for medical appointments and probed their interest in using retail walk-in clinics. Currently, retail walk-in clinics are used by a small minority. And the same is true for online video conferencing. Most just sit and wait in a traditional office, where research has shown that almost everyone waits between 10 and 30 minutes.”

“Health care is on the cusp of significant change. The old sit-in-the-waiting-room and hope to eventually be seen by a doctor is not sustainable. People are used to smoother transactions. It used to be that to pay a bill you had to send a check or pay at the bank. Nowadays everything is electronic and even tappable. Booking travel used to be visiting a travel agent. Today it is all online. Shopping used to involve fighting the crowds at the mall. Now it is answering the door with delivery from Amazon Prime. Times change.”

“The old paradigm of waiting to be seen is ripe for revolution. Virtual visits and retail walk-ins seem to be the wave of the future.”

Are Walk-Ins and Virtual Visits for you?

Reducing Muscle Loss and Building Strength – Part 2

Recently, Jane Brody wrote two important articles for the New York Times. Here are some further highlights. Today, Part 2. Yesterday, Part 1

Building Strength — Through Tai Chi

In this second article, Brody looks at the value of tai chi in building strength:

“Watching a group of people doing tai chi, an exercise often called ‘meditation in motion,’ it may be hard to imagine that its slow, gentle, choreographed movements could actually make people stronger. Not only stronger mentally, but stronger physically and healthier as well.”

“I certainly was surprised by its effects on strength, but good research — and there’s been a fair amount of it by now — doesn’t lie. If you’re not ready or not able to tackle strength-training with weights, resistance bands, or machines, tai chi may just be the activity that can help to increase your stamina and diminish your risk of injury that accompanies weak muscles and bones.”

Click the image to learn more — and to gain encouragement as to why you should try tai chi. [It’s now on my to-do list, too.]

Reducing Muscle Loss and Building Strength - Part 2
Image by Gracia Lam

 

Reducing Muscle Loss and Building Strength – Part 1

Recently, Jane Brody wrote two important articles for the New York Times. Here are some highlights. Today, Part 1.

Reducing Muscle Loss

According to Brody:

“My young friends at the Y say I’m in great shape. And I suppose I am compared to most 77-year-old women in America today. But I’ve noticed in recent years that I’m not as strong as I used to be. Loads I once carried rather easily are now difficult, and some are impossible.”

“Thanks to an admonition from a savvy physical therapist, Marilyn Moffat, a professor at New York University, I now know why. I, like many people past 50, have a condition called sarcopenia — a decline in skeletal muscle with age. It begins as early as age 40 and, without intervention, gets increasingly worse, with as much as half of muscle mass lost by age 70. (If you’re wondering, it’s replaced by fat and fibrous tissue, making muscles resemble a well-marbled steak.)”

Click the image for tips on reducing muscle loss.

Reducing Muscle Loss and Building Strength - Part 1
Image by Gracia Lam

 

Wearables and Health Care

Recently, fitness trackers and other wearables have gained more popularity as health monitors. And this is expected to continue.

As Business Insider Intelligence reports:

“The health-care industry is undergoing a transformation due to pressure from ballooning healthcare costs, a rising burden of chronic disease, and shifting consumer expectations. Thus, wearables — including smartwatches, fitness trackers, and other connected devices — play a key role in this transformation.”

“U.S. consumer use of wearables for health purposes jumped from 9% in 2014 to 33% in 2018, according to Accenture. And penetration should continue to climb. With more than 80% of consumers willing to wear tech that measures health data. The growing adoption of wearables, and the breadth of health functions they offer, will capture a fuller picture of consumer health and behavior. Thus enabling health-care organizations to differentiate from the competition, drive value, and engage consumers.”

“In this new report, Business Insider Intelligence details the current and future market landscape of wearables in the U.S. health-care sector. We explore key drivers behind wearable usage by insurers, health-care providers, and employers. And the opportunities wearables afford to each of these stakeholders.”

“Consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable sharing the health data captured in these devices with their doctors, employers, and insurers. Such data offer opportunities to improve outcomes, reduce health-care costs, and engage customers. Providers can use wearables to improve chronic disease management, lessen the burden of a burgeoning staff shortage, and navigate a changing reimbursement model. Employers can combine wearables with cash incentives to lower insurance costs and improve employee productivity.”

 

Interesting Cancer Facts

Let’s look at lesser-known cancer facts.

There’s still a lot that we do not know about cancer. Today, we look at several “surprising” cancer facts. As 24/7 Wall St. notes:

“No place is immune to cancer. And nearly everyone is familiar with the disease in one form or another. We have learned much about cancer. Yet there is much more still to learn.”

“To identify the most surprising facts about cancer, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed recent reports released by the American Cancer Society, National Cancer Institute, Cancer Atlas, and World Health Organization. We opted for generally less well-known facts.”

These are among the 20 facts cited:

  • “What many may not know is that there are more than 100 different kinds of cancer, many of which the typical American has never heard of. The name of each type of cancer typically includes the organ or tissues where the cancer developed. In some cases, the cancer is named for the type of cell that forms it.”
  • “Age is the largest risk factor for cancer. According to the NCI Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program, the median age of cancer diagnosis is 66 years. The American Cancer Society reports that 87% of cancer cases in the United States are diagnosed in people 50 years and over.”
  • “According to the NCI, about 38.4% of men and women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their life. The most commonly diagnosed cancers so far in 2018 have been breast, lung and bronchus, prostate, colon and rectum, and melanoma of the skin cancers.”
  • “The World Health Organization estimates that 447,000 people will be diagnosed with cancer in 2018. Most of the new cancer cases will occur in Western countries, the country with the highest cancer rate is Australia. In Australia, an estimated 468 people out of every 100,000 people will get cancer. New Zealand has the second highest cancer rate at roughly 438 new cases annually per 100,000 people.” 
  • “Scientists believe cancer is not caused by just one single cause but by the interaction of many factors. Still, there are several factors known to significantly increase the risk of cancer. According to the ACS Cancer Atlas, between one-third and one-half of all cancer cases worldwide are preventable. Lifestyle factors such as smoking regularly, eating a high-fat diet, and working with toxic chemicals are top risk factors. Other factors include obesity, vaccine-preventable infections, and pollution.

Click the image to read more.

Interesting Cancer Facts
Source: Motortion / iStock