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Protect yourself, if and when

In the month of Movember – which recognises the importance of men’s health – more men need to know that early detection of cancer and a good support system can make all the difference.

Protect yourself, if and when

Early detection is the key to having a higher chance of recovery, especially when it comes to male cancers like testicular and prostate cancers. Photos: Shutterstock

Nobody wants to hear they have cancer. But in Singapore, more men than ever are surviving cancer. According to a 2015 report from the Singapore Cancer Registry, the cancer survival rates for men here stood at 13.2 per cent from 1973 to 1977. From 2008 to 2012, the rate has risen to 48.5 per cent.

These improved survival rates are in part due to the power of early detection. Early detection is key to the chances of recovery, especially when it comes to male cancers such as testicular and prostate cancer.

While older men are at more risk of developing prostate cancer, younger men are not immune. Many men are less aware of testicular cancer, which can occur in men of all ages. Learning to perform self-checks, and seeking advice and treatment quickly, are crucial to early detection and survival.

TAKING THE FIRST STEPS TO SAFEGUARDING YOUR HEALTH

Get yourself screened

Getting screened for cancer doesn’t have to be expensive. Screen for Life is a national screening programme that offers free or subsidised screenings for common cancers and illnesses. The Singapore Cancer Society (SCS) also offers free cancer screenings.

It’s important to remember that even if you’re not in a high-risk group, you should always keep an eye out for symptoms – including any lumps or growths, and pain or changes in urination patterns.

Put a plan in place

Comprehensive insurance coverage will take care of your treatment and recovery costs. Depending on your coverage, an insurance payout can also be used to help with your daily expenses, such as providing financial relief should you need to stop working for any period of time. This means patients can focus on recovery while family members do not have to worry about the household’s finances.

Build a support network

Having a holistic support system is just as important, as cancer patients benefit from the camaraderie of others in the same situation, facing the same challenges.

Treatment facilities and non-profit organisations like the National Cancer Centre and the SCS run ongoing support groups like the SCS’s Walnut Warriors, which provides men with prostate cancer rehabilitative exercise programmes and psychological support.

COVERING CANCER: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Do you want a second opinion?

Should cancer be diagnosed, most doctors recommend starting treatment as soon as possible. And when important decisions need to be made, it’s not unusual for patients to seek a second opinion. Patients can benefit from the knowledge of alternative options, and ultimately gain peace of mind that their chosen treatment plan is the right one for them. So it’s important to check that your insurance covers a second medical opinion.

Are all your costs covered?

While most private Integrated Shield plans take care of cancer treatment as well as pre-and-post hospital costs, there are some items that may not be covered, such as holistic treatments or special diets.

What do you need to check?

According to Mr David Broom, chief marketing officer at FWD Insurance Singapore, there are certain features of cancer insurance to look out for, such as whether there is a payout for early-stage cancer, and if there is, whether it is the same as that for late-stage cancer.  

Said Mr Broom: “FWD’s cancer insurance pays out the full amount once the insured is diagnosed with cancer, irrespective of whether the cancer is caught in the early stages of the disease. The full payout is unlocked at one go – so you’ll have the cash available to fight cancer from the very start, instead of waiting for your condition to deteriorate. The full payout is at your disposal, be it for treatment needs or any other needs.”

FOCUSED ON YOUR NEEDS

“For FWD, our priority is making cancer insurance easy, hassle-free and affordable. It can be bought online with just a simple health declaration and no medical examination. And premiums start as low as S$7 a month,” said Mr Broom.

Besides the payout, FWD’s cancer insurance plan provides a second medical opinion. Said Mr Broom: “This service allows customers to seek an alternative view on their diagnosis from medical experts around the world. According to our consumer research, a second medical opinion is one of our most valued services.”

Cancer can be a tough ordeal, but we can do our best to prepare for it by implementing the right support systems – both physically and financially.

If you’re looking for a cancer insurance that gives 100-per-cent payout for all types of cancer, including early stages, check out FWD Insurance. It’s simple to get yourself protected.

This policy is protected under the Policy Owners' Protection Scheme that is administered by the Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation (SDIC). This advertisement has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

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