The Facts About Colorectal Cancer

The Facts About Colorectal Cancer

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By Ryan Waterfield

Colorectal cancer (the term used to describe both colon and rectal cancer) is the third most common cancer diagnosed in the United States and the third leading cause of cancer death (excluding skin cancers). The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be 97,220 new cases of colon cancer and 43,030 new cases of rectal cancer in the United States in 2018, and it’s expected to cause about 50,630 deaths this year.

Risk Factors

Many of the risk factors for colorectal cancers are outside of our control including age, race (African Americans have a greater risk of colon cancer than other races), inflammatory intestinal conditions, genetics, and radiation therapy directed at abdomen. Other risk factors are lifestyle related such as low-fiber, high-fat diets, a sedentary lifestyle, obesity, smoking, and heavy alcohol consumption.

To Decrease Your Risk

  • Exercise most days of the week.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Practice moderation in alcohol consumption.
  • Avoid red meat.
  • Eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.

Prevention is key

Regular screening for colorectal cancer is one of the most powerful weapons for prevention. The most common and effective form of screening is colonoscopy—especially for those with a family history or other high-risk factors.

To learn about screening options (in addition to colonoscopy) for colorectal cancer: https://www.cancer.gov/types/colorectal/screening-fact-sheet

Signs and Symptoms

Symptoms that might indicate colorectal cancer:

  • A change in your bowel habits, including diarrhea or constipation or a change in the consistency of your stool, that lasts longer than four weeks
  • Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool
  • Persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas or pain
  • A feeling that your bowel doesn’t empty completely
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss

If you have a family history of colorectal cancer or polyps, or you have signs or symptoms that may indicate colorectal cancer, speak to your doctor as soon as possible. Early detection means a higher likelihood of survival.

To learn about the stages of colorectal cancer: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/colon-rectal-cancer/detection-diagnosis-staging/staged.html

Treatment Options

There are a number of treatment options for colorectal cancer including: surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or targeted therapy—a form of treatment that uses monoclonal antibodies to help treat metastatic (cancer that spreads) colorectal cancer.

Medications such as Xeloda, Avastin, and Cytoxan are commonly prescribed to help fight the spread of colorectal cancer. If you need prescription assistance to help afford the cost of Xeloda, Avastin, or Cytoxan, contact a SimplFill representative. Simpelfill provides expert patient assistance and helps patients and their families understand and access the appropriate medications.

Call Simplefill at 1.877.386.0206 or go to www.simplefill.com to start the application process online.

 

 

 

Top 10 Medical Issues for Baby Boomers

Top 10 Medical Issues for Baby Boomers

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By Ryan Waterfield

Baby Boomers are a powerful demographic group

About 76 million people were born during the baby boom years—1946-1964. As more Baby Boomers are leaving the work force and enrolling in Medicare for their insurance needs; healthcare providers are focusing on the most common health concerns this generation is facing. Here’s the lowdown:

Certainly, the risk of chronic illness increases with age, but there are behavioral factors that can mitigate many of these issues. A healthy diet, physical activity, and avoiding tobacco use are three key factors in reducing the risk of chronic diseases associated with aging.

Many of these illnesses require a plethora of medications. Simplefill’s Prescription Assistance programs can help you get the right medications for the right price. There’s no need to overspend on your medications. Simplefill will make the process easy, advocate on your behalf, and give you peace of mind.

The more aware you are of the potential health risks that you face as you age (and their potential costs), the more proactive you can be about preventative care and seeking medical attention when you show signs or symptoms. So, here’s to knowing what might ail you.

1.TYPE 2 DIABETES: In a 2011 study by Centers for Disease Control (CDC) showed that people ages 65-74 were diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes 13 times more often than people 45 years or younger. Because Diabetes increases the risk of other serious health problems, it is of significant concern. Other problems include: high blood pressure, vision loss, nerve damage, foot problems, kidney disease, and cardiovascular disease.

2. HEART DISEASE: is the leading cause of death for both men and women over the age of 60. Coronary artery disease (when the arteries that deliver the blood to the heart are narrowed or blocked) is the most common type of heart disease. How do you avoid heart disease? Avoid tobacco, control your blood pressure and cholesterol, exercise and eat a low-fat, low-sodium diet. Maintaining a healthy body weight is also important.

3. CANCER: Once you hit a certain age, it seems like some type of cancer is affecting someone you know or love. And no wonder, it is the second-leading cause of death for people over 65. Cancer screenings and early detection can save lives so don’t avoid tests like colonoscopies and mammograms.

4.DEPRESSION: More than 6.5 million Americans 65 or over are affected by depression. While depression is not a typical process of aging, there are many realities about getting older that can lead to depression: changes in work status, changes in family dynamics, health concerns/struggles etc. It is important to know that it is not a sign of weakness to seek help for depression and baby boomers are a generation less likely to admit to feeling depressed than many of the generations that follow. If you are feeling down, lethargic, sad, talk to your doctors, they can help you get the treatments you need.

5.ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE: The sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S., Alzheimer’s is most common in people over 65, but people can experience symptoms in their 40s or 50s. Recent studies have shown that there is a connection between the general health of the heart and blood vessels and the health of the brain. Avoid tobacco, eat a healthy diet, and stay physically active.

6.ARTHRITIS & JOINT PAIN:  Much of the joint pain that people over 60 experience is due to the breakdown of cartilage in the joints. When the cartilage breaks down, bones rub on bones and that causes swelling, pain, and stiffness called osteoarthritis. Maintaining a healthy weight decreases the stress on joints and physical actively like walking, yoga, swimming can keep joints flexible.

7. CAREGIVER STRESS: As partners take ill with chronic diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s, and other diseases, the spouse becomes the caretaker. Baby Boomers are also sometimes caring for their aging parents and can be susceptible to caregiver stress in that relationship. Being a caregiver will often redefine the roles in a marriage or long-time family relationship. Those suffering from chronic and incurable illnesses will see a significant change in quality of life that is recognized and often treated as part of the overall medical treatment plan for the illness; but the quality of life of caregivers also drastically changes and they are often isolated in their ability to talk about the changes. It is important for caretakers to care for themselves as well, seek treatment if depression develops, and seek a community of others dealing with the same caregiving issues.

8. EYE ISSUES:  In our 40s, many people recognize that they need a little help seeing the words on the page and they find their way to the readers in the pharmacy. But by the time you hit 65 or older, the eye problems can be much more severe. Cataracts (a clouding of the lens of the eye) affect nearly 20.5 million Americans age 40 and over and the likelihood of developing cataracts increases significantly over 60 years of age. By the age of 80, over half of all Americans are dealing with cataracts. The science and surgical techniques have improved the surgeries to make them more efficient (less time in surgery) with quicker recovery times. All of that equals more successful surgeries. Macular degeneration (a progressive disease of the eye) is the leading cause of blindness for people over 55. Annual eye exams help catch vision issues before they get too bad. With treatment, the progression of macular degeneration can be halted or slowed.

9. OBESITY: Americans in particular struggle with obesity. Diet, exercise, sleep, and healthy lifestyle choices (limiting alcohol, limiting the amount of screen time) can help people lose weight, but it takes commitment and educating oneself on risks and consequences of dietary and lifestyle choices. Doctors like to begin intervention in patients who are overweight, not yet obese. One is considered “overweight” with a body mass index (BMI) of 25 to 29.9; intervention at this stage can help prevent the development of obesity and reduce risk factors for many chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart attack, stroke, sleep apnea, etc. A person with a BMI of 30 or greater is considered obese.

10. HEPATITIS C:  Baby boomers born between 1945 through 1965 are five times more likely than other adults to be infected with this virus. People infected with Hepatitis C may not even be aware they have it. Hep C can cause liver damage, cirrhosis, liver cancer, and even death. If you test positive for the virus, there are treatments that can cure you.

People who are at risk of getting or having hepatitis C and who should be tested include:

  • Those who currently share or have shared needles in the past.
  • Anyone who received a blood transfusion, blood product, or donor organ prior to the availability of screening in the United States in 1992.
  • People who are on kidney dialysis.
  • Anyone who received tattoos or body piercings with non-sterile instruments.
  • People infected with HIV.
  • Anyone who was ever in jail or prison.
  • Babies born to mothers infected with hepatitis C.
  • Anyone who received a blood product for clotting problems made before 1987.
  • Healthcare workers who have been accidentally stuck with a contaminated needle

 

Most of these illnesses require a number of expensive prescription medications and treatment. Simplefill is a full-service prescription assistance company dedicated to helping our members get their medicines at affordable prices. Call Simplefill today to speak with one of their friendly representatives who can discuss your situation in detail and guide you through all of your options.

 

Call Simplefill at 1.877.386.0206 or go to www.simplefill.com to start the application process online.

 

Chronic Disease Series: Diabetes

Chronic Disease Series: Diabetes

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If you have diabetes, you aren’t alone. According to the National Diabetes Education Program, 25.8 million Americans – that’s 8.3% of the country’s population – are diabetic. There is no cure for diabetes, nor does the disease go away. Therefore, it is vital to receive treatment to keep you healthy so you can enjoy a high quality of life. Simplefill has provided you with the most common forms of diabetes and the treatments available.

Type 1 Diabetes

Background: This form of diabetes occurs when the immune system attacks the cells in the body that create insulin. Type 1 diabetes typically manifests itself in children or young adults. According to the Mayo Clinic, juvenile diabetes symptoms include extreme thirst and hunger, fatigue, weight loss, and frequent urination.

Type 1 Diabetes Treatment: Insulin treatment is the most important form of diabetes medication and is essential to the health of the individual. Typically delivered through injection, the variety of insulin types used vary depending upon the individual needs of the patient.

Type 2 Diabetes

Background: When you have Type 2 diabetes, your body does not process insulin correctly, a phenomena called ‘insulin resistance.’ This form is typical in adults, although cases in youths have increased as a result of childhood obesity. Symptoms include thirst and hunger, blurred vision, frequent infection, darkened skin spots, and weight loss.

Type 2 Diabetes Treatment: While some diabetes patients can regulate the disease with healthy eating and regular exercise, many rely on prescription medication. The diabetes medication list includes drugs like metformin and glucose-lowering treatments like glipizide, glyburide, and glimepiride, as well as insulin therapy.

If you have diabetes and are under- or un-insured, you can still get the treatment you need to live a healthy life. SimpleFill is committed to providing diabetes supplies for uninsured Americans; apply today to get affordable access to the prescription medication and treatment you deserve.

Chronic Disease Series: Rheumatoid Arthritis

Chronic Disease Series: Rheumatoid Arthritis

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According to the Arthritis Foundation, 1.5 million Americans struggle with rheumatoid arthritis every day. At Simplefill, we understand the toll that this disease can take on affected patients inflicting a near-constant pain throughout everyday life.

Typically, rheumatoid arthritis symptoms are most active during the morning. The effects are most dominant on the hands and feet, sparking joint pain that can erode bones and even lead to joint disfigurement.

Rheumatoid arthritis is unpredictable. Many patients suffer from flares, which is the term used to describe bursts of pain. Sometimes flares last for half a day, or they can linger for months. The pain and stiffness caused by rheumatoid arthritis greatly affects patients and can lead to chronic discomfort and a reduced quality of life.

Although the disease has no cure, there are Rheumatoid arthritis medications that can make the disease more bearable. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and steroids reduce inflammation and relieve pain, while disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs lessen the risk of permanent damage. Many patients also use immunosuppressants, since rheumatoid arthritis can degrade the immune system.

Prescription treatment for rheumatoid arthritis is vital to prevent the illness from taking over a patient’s life. However, for the under and uninsured, accessing medications for Rheumatoid arthritis treatment can feel financially impossible.

Simplefill exists to provide Americans with the medications they need to live happy, healthy lives. We are proud to advocate for those without health insurance and have the skills and knowledge to utilize complex Prescription Assistance programs to provide our members with free or reduced prescriptions. If you’re suffering from rheumatoid arthritis but can’t afford treatment, apply to join our program today. We will provide you with affordable access to a range of pharmacological treatments that will bring you on the path to a better life.

Help Paying For Prescription Drug Medications

Help Paying For Prescription Drug Medications

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Too often good health comes with a price. Our health is something we take for granted until we lose it. Then the cold truth hits home, and it may seem like without a full insurance plan, good health is downright unattainable. At Simplefill, we understand losing your health is a big enough challenge and the added financial obligations should not burden you more.

According to the Mayo Clinic, more than 70 percent of American citizens use prescription medication every day. There is no “formula” that determines who needs regular medical attention. People of all ages and backgrounds are affected by health issues, and proper medication can be the difference between unbearable and manageable pain, between a worsening condition or treatment, and even between life and death.

For under or uninsured Americans, the cost of prescription medication isn’t just expensive: it can be impossible. If you are one of these people, remember you aren’t alone. There is a solution, and that solution is Simplefill, an advocacy group committed to providing patients with access to affordable medications.

Simplefill was formed on the belief that access to good health should be available to everyone, not just those with strong insurance plans. We are proud to provide our members with assistance paying for prescription drug medication, and support hundreds of patients each month. We provide a link between qualified patients and Prescription Assistance Programs (PAPs), which can radically reduce the cost of medications.

If you are part of a prescription drug plan that you cannot afford, then apply to join our program today. Simplefill offers support and a strong knowledge of the medical industry to ensure you can get the medication you need – without going into debt in the process.

Free or Low Cost Prescription Medication Options

Free or Low Cost Prescription Medication Options

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According to the National Health Council, an estimated 133 million Americans (45% of the country’s total population) are living with a chronic disease or health issue. Illnesses not only make everyday life more complicated, but they also create a major financial strain for patients.

Many uninsured or underinsured Americans are faced with three options: Go into debt paying for treatment they can’t afford, go untreated, or settle for subpar medications. The first choice leads to financial hardship, the second two can lead to worsening symptoms and even death.

There is good news. Free or low cost prescription medication options are available, and Simplefill is driven to provide as many people with the medication they need.

Prescription Assistance Programs (PAPs) are offered by pharmaceutical companies to provide qualified patients with affordable treatment options. However, the system is complex, and many patients miss out on low cost prescriptions because they don’t know how to navigate each PAP.

Simplefill is an advocacy group providing low income prescription assistance to patients across the country. We guide patients throughout the process to ensure they get access to the medications they need at a fraction of the cost. By offering expert advice, tailored support, and a knowledgeable customer service network, Simplefill aims to provide a “simple solution to a complex problem.”

Patients should not have to forfeit their health due to limited or lack of a prescription coverage. To get access to the free or low cost medications you deserve, fill out our application or chat with one of our representatives to get started. If you have any questions, we’re just a phone call, email, or live chat away to talk you through the process. Simplefill takes the hardship out of staying healthy, and we’re proud to help hundreds of patients every month. Join us today!

Chronic Disease Series: Prostate Cancer

Chronic Disease Series: Prostate Cancer

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According to the American Cancer Society, one in seven men are expected to be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2014. However, with proper treatment and medication, recovery is possible. Over 2.5 million American men diagnosed with prostate cancer have survived.

The prostate, found in males, is located below the bladder in front of the rectum. Changes to the shape and size of gland cells is typically what causes prostate cancer. Routine screenings are the strongest method of prostate cancer prevention. Early detection can be the difference between a treatable illness and a terminal one. The two most common screening are a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test or a digital rectal exam (DRE), which monitor changes to the prostate.

Treatment of prostate cancer is varied and depends upon the diagnosis of the individual patient. Hormone treatment lowers the growth of prostate-specific antigens in the blood, which slows or halts the disease’s progress. Other prostate cancer treatment options such as surgery, radiation therapy, or immunotherapy have also provided lifesaving solutions.

Prostate cancer is a frightening diagnosis, but there are solutions in place. These treatments are often costly, and for the under or uninsured, they can be a nightmare. Many patients are faced with a double edged sword: They can play with fate and go untreated, or go into debt to get the medical attention they deserve.

Simplefill believes no patient should face this dilemma. We represent underinsured and uninsured Americans who cannot afford their prescribed medications, supplying them with resources and support to ensure they get the treatment they need. We provide hundreds of Americans with access to their needed prescriptions each month, and we are proud to count prostate cancer patients among those we have assisted.

Prostate cancer is a stressful diagnosis, and the situation should not be escalated by the cost of treatment. Apply now  to become a part of the Simplefill community, and join us on the path towards better health today.