The human body is composed of trillions of cells that normally grow and multiply. When cells become old, damaged and die, new cells are produced to replace them.
Cancer is an abnormal growth of cells that occurs and spreads uncontrollably in our body. This happens when the signal in the process breaks down, DNA is damaged by harmful substances in the environment or we inherited it from our parents.
A mass of cells that are formed can develop into tumors which can be cancerous (malignant) or non-cancerous (benign). Malignant tumors grow quickly and attack nearby tissues and can even metastasize or spread to other parts of the body. Benign tumors, on the other hand, tend to grow slowly and do not spread and attack normal cells. However, if they are quite large in size it can also be life-threatening such as benign tumors in the brain.
According to the World Health Organization, cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide with 9.6 million recorded deaths in 2020. While, in the Philippines, it is the third most leading cause of death in both sexes.
“I have been diagnosed with Nasopharyngeal Cancer - Stage II in November 2019. It was difficult for me as a senior citizen because I didn’t have enough money for treatment. Honestly, I never saw this coming. Although Philhealth, senior citizen discounts, and the health card provided by my daughter’s employer were a big help, those weren’t enough to cover all the treatment sessions and other expenses like the prescribed medicines, food supplements, transportation costs, etcetera.” - Cesar, 66 years old
Getting pronounced with cancer can be emotionally, physically and financially draining. This illness can affect not only you but your caregiver and family members as well. The feelings of anxiety, depression and distress are all normal. What’s important is that you acknowledge your situation, focus on getting treatment and becoming better.
As cancer continues to bring pain and sorrow to many people, here are some tips to consider to help you prevent and prepare for it:
1. Get regular screenings - If cancer runs in your family, better talk to your doctor for regular monitoring of your health. Be aware of the different symptoms so you can act on it immediately.
A positron emission tomography or PET scan can help see any tumor growth or presence of other diseases in your body. Your doctor will advise when it’s needed. A PET scan is offered by big hospitals and the cheapest is PHP52,000.
2. Maintain a healthy lifestyle - Choose a healthy diet, exercise and stop smoking. This can help your body fight off any diseases and let you live longer.
A change in lifestyle can make a big difference. It helps you save trips to the doctor and allows you to spend your money on more important things.
3. Avoid too much exposure to harmful chemicals - Anything that is too much is bad. During this pandemic, alcohol is used by most people as one of the safety health protocols in reducing the spread of COVID-19. But did you know that alcohol contains chemicals that, when inhaled and passed through the skin, can damage your kidneys and liver?
If possible, just wash your hands using soap and water.
4. Reduce exposure to outdoor and indoor air pollution - Your lungs are responsible for bringing in fresh air to your body and at the same time eliminating waste gases and particulate matter. Breathing polluted air can cause serious health problems and make it difficult for your lungs to function properly.
In order to protect yourself from unhealthy air, check your community’s daily air quality, don’t allow anyone to smoke indoors, lessen the use of energy in your home, avoid high-traffic areas when exercising outdoors, and never burn trash.
5. Get critical illness cover - Applying for insurance that covers critical illness can help you face a difficult situation later on. It also saves you from out of pocket expenses when an illness strikes.
Paramount Direct offers a comprehensive insurance product called PrimeHealth Cash Plan. It is intended for ages 40 to 74 years old and has life, accidental death and critical illness benefits.
Our PrimeHealth Cash Plan provides lump sum money of up to PHP400,000 when diagnosed with a critical illness such as Heart Attack, Stroke, Cancer, Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery and End-stage Renal Failure requiring dialysis, up to PHP400,000 life and/or accidental death benefits and up to PHP20,000/month medical assistance benefit.
All the cash benefits are directly given to you, on top of your Philhealth and HMO coverage, which allows you to decide on how and where to spend your money.
Premium starts at PHP229 per month. Based on age 40 and Plan 100. Get a quote and apply for our PrimeHealth Cash Plan at https://bit.ly/3HhzvQ2.
Today is World Cancer Day. It’s not enough to be aware. Take action and #redirect towards prevention and reducing financial distress.