Trending News Today: Profit Losses Continue for Insurers Through the Affordable Care Act

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

In 2015, only about one-quarter of insurers reported a profit from their individual plans under the Affordable Care Act, while the rest have experienced significant losses, reported The Wall Street Journal. According to an analysis conducted by the consulting firm McKinsey & Co, the health insurance industry’s cumulative margin on individual plans was between -9% and -11% last year. This loss is about double the -4.8% margin calculated for 2014.

Despite genetic research making waves in the medical community, the question on where the cancer originated still remains useful and the practice of examining cells under a microscope is still a crucial part of treatment. According to The New York Times, the shape of cancer cells frequently provides clues on a cancer cell behavior. The differences among cell shapes led to cancers being treated differently, subsequently resulting in overall improvement. As cancer screenings improve, so too does the survival rate. In the United States, the 5-year relative survival rate for all cancers diagnosed was 49% from 1975 to 1977, while the rates improved from 2006 to 2010 to 68%.

Although many women are aware of the dangers of BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations, few men realize that these genetic defects can affect them as well. According to The Washington Post, the BRCA mutation is already linked to prostate cancer, however, men with this mutation have been found more likely to develop an aggressive and lethal form of prostate cancer compared with those lacking the mutation. According to an analysis presented at the American Urological Association meeting last week, 17% of prostate cancer patients with BRCA2 mutations already had advanced stages of the disease, which was 4 times the rate of patients without the mutation. “The problem is, everyone associates this with women and their cancers,” said Bruce Montgomery, an oncologist at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance/University of Washington Medical Center. “In men’s minds, BRCA is about breast cancer, so they don’t see it as relevant.”