More Americans surviving cancer than ever. The number of cancer survivors in the U.S. will grow to almost 19 million in 2024, according to a new report from the American Cancer Society. The report says there are currently 14.5 million cancer survivors living in the country.
After a serious illness, lifestyle changes often have the potential to dramatically improve a person’s overall health and quality of life. In fact, lifestyle factors such as smoking, diet and physical activity strongly influence how rapidly many diseases will progress. Amazingly, people who have already suffered heart trouble, diabetes or other lifestyle-related illnesses —people who intimately know the consequences of their behaviors — often have an especially hard time turning things around. At least 40% of smokers who survive a heart attack are still puffing away a year later.
If you watched media reports you would think that we are winning the war against cancer and that soon treatment will be readily available for a whole range of cancers. This is just not true and but this shallow reporting is now standard for the news industry and is leading to a lot of patient confusion. Health care professionals cannot sit on the sideline any longer they have to get involved by helping patients sort through the hype and the reality. It is quickly becoming more of a necessity than a luxury.
If you are a healthy consumer and take supplements or prescription fish oil your head is probably spinning at the news that shows men who have the highest levels of fish oil compounds have a higher risk of prostate cancer. Men with the very highest levels had a 71 percent higher risk of high-grade prostate cancer – the kind most likely to spread and kill, they report in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Now that is alarming.
According to Mark Bittman, an Opinion columnist and the Times magazine’s food columnist, a study published in the Feb. 27 issue of the journal PLoS One links increased consumption of sugar with increased rates of diabetes by examining the data on sugar availability and the rate of diabetes in 175 countries over the past decade. And after accounting for many other factors, the researchers found that increased sugar in a population’s food supply was linked to higher diabetes rates independent of rates of obesity. In other words, according to this study, obesity doesn’t cause diabetes: sugar does.
Many women who are taking certain breast cancer medications post online about the drugs’ side effects, according to a study published in the journal Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety, WHYY’s “NewsWorks” reports. Of the women who posted on message boards about aromatase inhibitors, nearly 20% talked about the drugs’ side effects, the study found. Most of the comments about side effects related to severe joint pain. Researchers also found that about 40% of the women who posted about aromatase inhibitors discussed discontinuing the medication or switching to another drug. But do physicians really have the time to search social media for drug side effects ?
Doctors call it the “Google stack” (the printouts listing all the potential and worrisome diagnoses) and it could be a benefit or a problem. A Google stack is when patients visit their doctor with printouts of health information they they downloaded from the Internet. Used correctly this information can benefit both patient and physician but used incorrectly can lead to more cyberchondria.
Manhattan Research’s ePharma Consumer® study shows the ePharma Consumer population continues to grow, boosted in part by the increase in the number of older consumers using the Internet. As more and more people go online for health information there are opportunities for pharma marketers to become part of the conversation.