Trending News Today: 25% of Patients with History of Cancer Struggle to Pay Medical Bills

Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.

The results of a recent study suggest that living a healthy lifestyle could offset a person’s risk of dementia, even if that risk is genetic, according to MD Magazine. Investigators from the University of Exeter found that the risk of dementia was 32% lower in people with a genetic risk but who had a healthy lifestyle and that patients with a high genetic risk and an unfavorable lifestyle were nearly 3 times as likely to develop dementia. This was the first study to analyze the extent to which a patient may offset their genetic risk of dementia by living a healthy lifestyle.

A new study finds that trends in colonoscopy rates did not fully align with an increase in colorectal cancer (CRC) in younger adults, indicating that the rise in early onset CRC is not solely a result of more detection, according to the American Cancer Society. Between 2000 and 2015, past-year colonoscopy rates were fairly stable among people aged 40—44 at 3%, while colorectal cancer incidence rates increased by 28%. The changes in past-year colonoscopy rates did not fully align with the rise in overall and distant stage CRC incidence rates in all 3 age groups during the corresponding period.

Approximately 25% of patients with a history of cancer struggle to pay medical bills and 34% worry about medical costs, according to CNBC. For patients with a cancer history, the average out-of-pocket spending each year was about $1000, compared with $622 for people without a cancer history. Costs are also likely to increase as new, more advanced and more expensive treatments are adopted, according to the study.