You can protect yourself against financial risks associated with prostate cancer
With more than 4 300 South African men diagnosed with prostate cancer annually and an estimated five dying from the disease every day, it is imperative for men to not only get screenings for the disease to monitor their health, but also guard against the possible financial risks associated with this illness. This is according to Tetiwe Jawuna, Head of Standard Bank Insurance Brokers (SBIS), South Africa, who says: “We support initiatives like the Movember movement, which for the past four years has encouraged men to take control of their health by going for the necessary screenings, as early detection of cancer can greatly improve the chances of recovery. “But a reality many aren’t aware of is the devastating impact this disease can have on you and your family’s financial wellbeing in the event that you are too ill to work, or have exceeded the cover for your medical expenses, or the loss of income to your family in the event of your death.” Tetiwe therefore encourages men to insure their lives with cover against this risk. Dread disease and disability cover is a great option, as it will protect a portion of your income if you become too weak to work, as well as pay out a lump sum to your family in the event of your passing. “It is never easy – and sometimes thought callous – to bring financial talk into a situation that can be emotionally trying, but financial stress is a reality of long-term illness that isn’t guarded against by most conventional insurance policies unless you make the choice to have it,” explains Tetiwe. Many aren’t aware that prostate cancer, as with all other cancers, does not localise, and once it spreads to other parts of the body, management and control of the disease can be difficult. While medical schemes help to meet the medical costs associated with the illness, the patient is responsible for many additional costs and services. “This financial stress makes it harder to focus on getting well, therefore it’s advised that you speak to your financial services provider about a suitable dread disease and disability policy while you are still healthy,” Tetiwe suggests. “This will give you peace of mind knowing that you will be fully covered in the event of illness, and that your family will be taken care of should you pass away.” She further explains that it is important for you to disclose all relevant information pertaining to this type of cover to ensure 100% of the amount is paid out if and when you claim. So, to fully protect your financial wellbeing and health in times of need, Tetiwe advises the following: Elect appropriate life cover It should cover dread disease and disability, and provide an income protector option. Choose a good medical aid Many medical schemes advocate that prevention is better than cure and, as a result, offer free annual screenings for things like prostate and testicular cancer. Get regular check-ups While it is recommended that men go for screenings once a year, particularly if you are over the age of 40 or have a family history of cancer. It is also advised that you see a health professional as soon as possible if you have symptoms that are bothering you.
Remember that insurance is there for your protection, and your financial and emotional wellbeing. There is no guarantee that you will ever need it, but if you ever do suffer from illness or disability, it pays to be prepared – for yourself and your loved ones.