Male cancers and need for early detection

Call it pride, gung-ho manliness, or an unreasonable fear of having one's nether regions examined by a doctor, men tend to ignore health symptoms and hope for the best, usually only consulting a doctor when things have progressed to serious discomfort.

As part of Male Cancer Awareness month (November), Hollard Life focuses on the importance of early detection and treatment of prostate and testicular cancers, two of the most curable cancers if caught early. 

“Statistics show that the lifetime risk for prostate cancer is 1 in 26 according to the National Cancer Registry, while testicular cancer is the most common cancer in young men aged between 15-39 years.

It’s important to know that both prostate and testicular cancers have a very good cure rate if detected and treated early,” explains Susan Gonnermann, Head of Claims at Hollard Life.  

Claims figures from Hollard Life consistently show that across critical illness, death and disability income benefits, cancer is the number two claims cause after heart disease.

And of all the male cancer claims, 70 percent are for prostate and colon cancer. Other cancers which are not exclusive to men such as colon/bowel cancer are increasing in male claims stats, competing head on with the incidence of prostate cancer.

Proactive, annual health checks and responding to your body’s cues promptly with a doctor’s visit cannot be emphasised enough.   

Ryan Chegwidden, Product and Technical Head at Hollard Life emphasises the importance of understanding the implications of cancer for your financial security, an often emotional and challenging conversation to have with a financial advisor.

But given the prevalence of cancer in our modern lifestyles, it’s an important conversation to have with a professional advisor who can help formulate a financial plan.

“Modern medical advances make it easier to detect and successfully treat cancer before it becomes invasive.

The good news is that we are starting to see higher claims rates for stage one and two cancers, which indicates that men are heeding the call for early detection and proactive heath checks.

However, early detection doesn’t necessarily reduce the unexpected cost of treatment,” says Chegwidden.

“You could face serious financial repercussions because most critical illness policies do not cover you for early stage cancer. 

Chances are that if you have critical illness cover, even comprehensive cover, an early cancer claim where the cancer is localised and not invading surrounding tissue, or pre-malignant, will be excluded under the policy definitions,” he adds.

Early cancer cover is available.

Commit to annual health check-ups and get financially fit. Male cancers can be beaten if detected early, so get those annual health check-ups in place.

Finally, talk to your financial advisor about getting financially fit to handle whatever curve balls life may throw at you, the only thing you will need to worry about is your return to health.    

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Male cancers and need for early detection