The Big C. No one likes talking about it, yet we are all affected by it either directly or indirectly. Cancer is possibly one of the most common critical illnesses we encounter and worldwide, the rate of diagnoses is expected to rise by 50% by 2030. With this in mind, while cancer used to be something associated with people over 50, younger people are being diagnosed more frequently than ever before. Leukaemia, lymphoma, testicular cancer, and thyroid cancer are the most common cancers among 15-24-year-olds. Among 25-39-year-olds, breast cancer and melanoma are the most common.
While that sounds like bad news, the reality at the root of these statistics is that we are catching cancer in its earlier stages due to better screening and patient education. As a result, we are able to treat cancer more expediently so cancer death rates are actually falling by 13% per year, which is terrific news! So, while younger patients are being diagnosed with cancers, the prognosis has trended to more survivors and longer remissions than ever before in human history.
That said, taking cancer head on involves a wide range of treatments including immunotherapy, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and renewed attention to diet and stress management. It is a marathon, not a race. Usually these treatments can be extremely taxing on a patient both physically and psychologically. As a result, most people going through cancer treatments need to take some significant time off from work to rest and recuperate properly, often up to years at a time.
These treatments are also costly. Completely aside from the therapies themselves such as chemo, radiation and/or surgery, there is all the diagnostic testing, rehabilitation and monitoring that needs to continue into remission and beyond. These costs can snowball and can be financially debilitating if there has been no forward planning set in motion. Being an expat also adds the additional dimension of being removed from your usual support networks like friends and family. This can be tough in a time of upheaval and being prepared for this can help to ease the burden of what is already a big blow to you and your family.
This is really the primary reason that Critical Illness insurance was created, to allow for income protection while a client was recovering from physically devastating illnesses. Most Critical Illness policies are paid out in a lump sum upon diagnosis of an illness at its critical stage. It will be at your discretion how the money is distributed and you will get one critical illness pay out in a lifetime of cover.
So how do you nab yourself some critical illness cover? You can nominate a ‘rider’ or an addition to your life insurance policy that will be paid out if you reach the critical stages of your cancer treatment. It is for this reason that it pays to keep up to date with your wellness checks and regular screenings so that you don’t have any nasty surprises. The earlier any abnormalities are detected, the easier the treatment and the swifter the recovery.
For anyone that has a history of diseases in their family such as cancer, heart disease, stroke and kidney diseases among others, Critical Illness coverage is pure protection coverage that can cover loss of income while you are receiving treatment for one of these major diseases. If you have any questions with regard to anything related to critical illness and cancer, please don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and give Ethan a call. It’s a bit of a scary topic, sure. But with the right information and preparation, you can be ready for one of the (many!) curve balls that life might throw at you.
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