Treatment for cancer can be very costly. This is mainly because the treatment is administered over a long duration and consequently the exorbitant costs incurred can cost people their entire life savings.
Lack of adequate insurance coverage puts healthy people at a higher risk of being diagnosed with cancer at an advanced stage, hence being more fatal. There are more than 100 different types of cancer. When considering which health plan coverage is right for you, it is important to ensure you are covered for different and specific forms of cancer. The common types are:
- Skin Cancer
- Colon Cancer
- Prostate Cancer
- Breast Cancer
- Ovarian & Cervical Cancer
- Lung Cancer
What other information is vital?
- Coverage: Know what your plan covers including different cancer screening tests
- Access: Can you go straight to a specialist or do you need a referral from a physician first?
- Cost: What will your out of pocket costs be, i.e. does your plan have caps or deductibles?
- Choice: Can you choose any doctor or hospital or can you select only those included in your plan?
What Is Cancer?
Cancer is a scary word. Almost everyone thinks it’s a disease that will happen to “someone else” but never to them.
Cancer is a group of related diseases that have to do with cells. Cells are very small units that make up living things. Cancer happens when cells that are abnormal grow and spread very fast. Normal cells grow and divide and overtime they will die. Unlike normal cells, cancer cells just continue to grow and divide out of control without dying out. Cancer cells usually group together to form tumors. A growing tumor becomes a lump of cancer cells that can destroy the normal cells around the tumor and damage the body’s healthy tissues.
What causes cancer?
Cancer is not contagious and there is no one particular cause for cancer. Several factors involved may be genetic, environmental or constitutional characteristics of the individual.
How is cancer diagnosed?
There is no single test that can accurately diagnose cancer. Diagnostic procedures for cancer include imaging, lab tests, tumor markers, biopsy, endoscopies, surgery, and genetic testing.
How is cancer treated?
Cancer is treated with surgery, chemotherapy, radiation or sometimes a combination of these treatments. The choice of treatment depends on the type and stage of cancer.
Remission is a great word for anyone who has cancer. It means all signs of cancer are gone from the body. After treatment, doctors will test to see if the cancer is still there and if the tests are negative, then the patient is in remission.
Nutrition, Exercise, and Cancer
It is important to maintain proper nutrition before, during and after cancer treatment. Research is discovering that intake of fruits, vegetables, cereal grains, and omega-3 fatty acids may interfere with the process of developing cancer of oral cavity, larynx, stomach, colon, lung, prostate and rectum. It also reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic diseases.
Eating 5-9 servings a day of plant foods may reduce your risk of cancer. Fruits and vegetables are high in vitamins, mineral, fiber, antioxidants and photo-chemical.
Changing your diet to decrease your risk of developing cancer is a good idea but starting an exercise program is also useful. Experts recommend exercising 3-5 times a week.