Annual U.S. Report on the Status of Cancer

The 2019 report with topical links.

Each year, the National Cancer Institute at  NIH (National Institute of Health) produces a report on the status of cancer in the United States.

Here are a few highlights from the 2019 report:

    • Overall cancer death rates continue to decrease in men, women, and children for all major racial and ethnic groups.
    • Overall cancer incidence rates, or rates of new cancers, have decreased in men and remained stable in women.
    • In adults ages 20 to 49, women have higher cancer incidence and mortality rates than men.
    • This year’s Special Section focused on cancer trends among adults ages 20 to 49.
      • For all age groups combined, incidence and death rates were higher among men than women, but among adults 20-49 years, incidence and death rates were lower among men than women.
      • The most common cancers in this age group were:
        • Breast, thyroid and melanoma of the skin for women, with breast cancer far exceeding any of the other cancers; and
        • Colorectal, testicular and melanoma of the skin for men.

To learn more, click on these images.

Annual U.S. Report on the Status of Cancer
                                                            RESOURCES

Annual U.S. Report on the Status of CancerAnnual U.S. Report on the Status of Cancer
 

Be Careful Selling YOUR Health Data

Know you privacy rights!

To sell us more goods and services, companies of all types really want a hold of our health date. Some firms will even pay us for data. But should you do this? Is the exchange worthwhile? Our data in trade for a fee.

This practice is the opposite of our goals in a prior post. Getting Your Health Care Provider to Be More Responsive

So, let’s consider these observations by Thorin Klosowski, writing for the NY Times: 

“If you work for a company with employer-sponsored health insurance, there’s a chance you’ve come across wellness programs such as UnitedHealthcare MotionHumana Go365Attain by Aetna, and Vitality (The New York Times offers Vitality to its employees).”

“Each program works similarly, offering some type of discount or financial incentive in exchange for reaching goals, usually verified by requesting health data collected by a phone or fitness tracker. Insurance companies offer these programs to encourage people to begin or maintain healthy habits, like eating well and exercising, thus reducing health care costs. Employers offer them as a way to provide financial rewards you can use toward the cost of insurance or gift cards.”

But, should you sell your health data?

“The health information you share with insurance companies, HMOs, health care providers, or company health plans is protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which helps keep your data private. But not all workplace wellness programs are covered by HIPAA.”

“Pam Dixon, executive director of World Privacy Forum, says, ‘The best thing to do is take a close look at the privacy policy for that program. If it is a HIPAA-covered program, they’re going to have a Notice of Privacy Practices.’ Look for phrases like ‘your rights under HIPAA,’ ‘Notice of Privacy Practices,’ or ‘NPP’ in the privacy policy. If you see the term ‘we are HIPAA-compliant, the basic rule of thumb is the program does not fall under HIPAA. ‘”

Click the image to learn more.

Be Careful Selling YOUR Health Data
Image by Yann Bastard.

Cancer Site Links from the American Institute for Cancer Research

Learn more about different forms of cancer.

On Tuesday, we highlighted four videos from the AICR. Now, we feature links to several of its pages on specific types of cancer. Here are some of them:

To learn more, click the image to visit the site.

Cancer Site Links from the American Institute for Cancer Research

 

 

 

Alone Time May Be Good

Sometimes, we may benefit from time by ourselves.

In this blog, we have talked a lot about the value of our community. As well as socialization.

For example, look at these two posts: Social Interactions and Our Health. And We Are NOT Alone.

Now, we consider the benefits of sometimes being alone. Yes, we can be both a socializer and also pursue some alone time.

As Micaela Marini Higgs observes for the NY Times:

“Being lonely hurts. It can even negatively impact your health. But the mere act of being alone doesn’t have to be bad. In fact, experts say it can even benefit your social relationships, improve your creativity and confidence, and help you regulate your emotions so that you can better deal with adverse situations.”

“An online survey called The Rest Test showed that the majority of activities people defined as most restful are things that are done solo.” 

“Despite the social stigma and apprehension about spending time alone, it’s something our bodies crave. Similar to how loneliness describes being alone and wanting company, ‘aloneliness’ can be used to describe the natural desire for solitude, Dr. Robert Coplan [a developmental psychologist and professor of psychology at Carleton University] said. Since we’re not used to labeling that feeling, it can easily be confused for, and feed into, other feelings like anxiety, exhaustion, and stress, especially since ‘we might not know that time alone is what we need to make ourselves feel better,’ Dr. Coplan added.”

Click the image to read a lot more from Higgs.

Alone Time May Be Good
Image Credit: Filip Fröhlich

 

Do YOU Get Regular Eye Exams

Please don’t ignore your eyes!

As our title asks: Do YOU Get Regular Eye Exams? Or do YOU neglect your eyes? Please be sure to treat your eyes properly!!! 🙂

Recently, Sarah DiGiulio wrote about this topic for Sharecare. Here are some highlights:

“Roughly 11 million Americans older than 12-years old need vision correction, but glasses or contacts are just one reason to see an eye doctor. Comprehensive eye exams are essential for the early detection of health issues that can affect your vision.”

“As you age, your risk for diseases that can affect your sight, like glaucoma and macular degeneration, increases. During a comprehensive, dilated eye exam, doctors specializing in the eyes and vision, called ophthalmologists, or licensed health care professionals, known as optometrists, can not only pick up eye diseases that could lead to blindness or other complications, but also detect certain underlying health issues that can affect your eyes—even before you develop symptoms or realize that something is going on.”

“Nonetheless,survey data suggest they’re underutilized. A 2016 Harris Poll, commissioned by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, found that 64 percent of U.S. adults reported having at least one vision problem, such as blurry vision, double vision, or difficulty seeing at night. Yet, only 13 percent of these people reported seeing an eye doctor about it.”

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also reports that up to 45 percent of adults in the United States haven’t had a dilated eye exam within the last two years. And only about half of the estimated 61 million adults at high risk for vision loss visited an eye doctor during the past year. (Keep in mind, there are free or low-cost options available, particularly for older people and those at higher risk for eye diseases.)”

Click the image to read a lot more.

Do YOU Get Regular Eye Exams
Your risk for eye-related disease increases as you age. Regular comprehensive eye exams can help protect your vision.

 

Do NOT Say This to a Person in Pain

FIFTEEN tips to be more thoughtful.

Speaking from personal experience, I have had people say various hurtful things. Or things that are not helpful. Often unintentionally. 

For example, as Linda Esposito notes for US News & World Report:

“People with chronic pain have heard it all – over and over. Acquaintances say, ‘You look fine to me,’ or ask, ‘Why aren’t you better yet?’ Doctors and nurses advise, ‘There comes a point when you must accept a new normal.'”

“For someone coping with continual pain, possibly for years, none of this is necessarily original or helpful. You may know someone with chronic pain and just not be sure what to say. Read on as people living with pain share their biggest pet peeve remarks from family, friends, and health care providers – and suggest more thoughtful, supportive comments.”

Click the image to learn FIFTEEN things not to say. 

Do NOT Say This to a Person in Pain
Credit: Getty Images

 

Avoid Genetic Testing Scams

Not every testing company is legit!!

Genetic testing has become an enormous business, with millions of people wanting to learn more about their backgrounds. BUT, not all genetic testing firms are legitimate.

For that reason, Health and Human Services recently issued a fraud alert:

Avoid Genetic Testing Scams

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General is alerting the public about a fraud scheme involving genetic testing. Genetic testing fraud occurs when Medicare is billed for a test or screening that was not medically necessary and/or was not ordered by a Medicare beneficiary’s treating physician.

Scammers are offering Medicare beneficiaries “free” screenings or cheek swabs for genetic testing to obtain their Medicare information for identity theft or fraudulent billing purposes. Fraudsters are targeting beneficiaries through telemarketing calls, booths at public events, health fairs, and door-to-door visits.

Beneficiaries who agree to genetic testing or verify personal or Medicare information may receive a cheek swab, an in-person screening or a testing kit in the mail, even if it is not ordered by a physician or medically necessary. If Medicare denies the claim, the beneficiary could be responsible for the entire cost of the test, which could be thousands of dollars.

Protect Yourself

  • If a genetic testing kit is mailed to you, don’t accept it unless it was ordered by your physician. Refuse the delivery or return it to the sender. Keep a record of the sender’s name and the date you returned the items.
  • Be suspicious of anyone who offers you “free” genetic testing and then requests your Medicare number. If your personal information is compromised, it may be used in other fraud schemes.
  • A physician that you know and trust should assess your condition and approve any requests for genetic testing.
  • Medicare beneficiaries should be cautious of unsolicited requests for their Medicare numbers. If anyone other than your physician’s office requests your Medicare information, do not provide it.