What is prostate cancer and how do I check for it?


Prostate cancer awareness month was back in September which seeks to raise awareness about prostate cancer globally. If you are an expat living in Singapore, sometimes the messages of these global campaigns don’t reach you as effectively they might at home. That’s why the team at Expat Insurance is here to keep you up to date with these important reminders and how you can use your health insurance to stay as healthy as possible while you are living abroad. If you have any questions, give us a call. Let’s answer the first question:

What is prostate cancer?

The prostate is a small gland that is about the size of a walnut that sits below the bladder in men. Its main job is to produce seminal fluid which supports and transports sperm – so sometimes it can be pretty busy and important! In its simplest terms, the tumour grows within the gland so detection can be done relatively easily. The nifty thing about the prostate’s location, is that it can be checked fairly easily without any expensive diagnostic equipment. Make it a regular part of your yearly health screening which we recommend and which most expat medical insurance packages contain. If you are unsure about whether yours does, let us know and we will have a look for you.

What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer can be fairly symptomless. The main red flags to look out for are problems urinating. Having a decreased flow or having difficulty with starting are some warning signs that you should pay attention to. Call your GP straight away if this applies to you. Staying ahead of the game and getting annual check-ups is so important for these reasons; prostate cancer doesn’t present itself until it is too late. Most expat health insurance packages include subsidies on GP visits. This means that even if you don’t opt-in for a yearly health screening, you need to make your prostate check a habit. Get out your diary now and check with our team to see what your plan includes.

What are the risk factors of prostate cancer?

Like most cancer, there is no single definitive cause. Again like most cancer, the risk goes up with age. If you have a family history of prostate cancer, this may increase your risk. There is also a correlation with the breast cancer gene, so if anyone in your family has had breast cancer, let your doctor know. Prostate cancer in obese patients may be harder to detect and treat. It goes without saying that maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be one of the most effective ways of combatting and preventing a chronic disease. We wrote a piece earlier this year on small changes that you can make in your life to stay healthy, have a read here. 

If you would like to know anything more about your policy or talk to our team, send us an email. 

What happens if I get prostate cancer in Singapore?

Firstly, make sure that your policy covers you for any cancer treatment. Treatment and recovery in Singapore can be expensive, so it is important that you have a medical insurance policy that covers any and all cancer treatment. It is worth checking your critical illness coverage, too. If you need any guidance here, contact our life insurance team and read this piece that we wrote about critical illness cover. Healthcare in Singapore is thorough and the standards are high, so your diagnosis and treatment will most likely be swift and comfortable. Most comprehensive medical plans include cancer treatment in their policies, so it is likely that if you have expat health insurance, you will be covered. If you have any questions, just give our team a call and they will be able to check your premium for you.

In summary, the best way to stay on top of prostate cancer is by getting regular checks. If detected early, prostate cancer is very treatable. Regular health screenings from your GP help to get an in-depth, overall look at your general health that you can track year on year. You can use these diagnostics along with other biomarkers to stay on top of your general health. Alternatively, just book in for a prostate exam with your GP as regularly as they recommend. Let us know if you would like any more clarification on what you have read here.





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