Breast cancer is common among Filipino women but men are not exempt from having this disease. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the Department of Health (DOH) and Philippine Cancer Society, 1 out of 3 women and 1 out of 10 men can have breast cancer in their lifetime.
The Philippines has the highest case of breast cancer in Asia, making it the ninth highest in the world. Despite several efforts and campaigns done by the DOH, there are still a lot of people who lack awareness and knowledge about this illness.
According to the American Cancer Society, ‘about 5% to 10% of breast cancer cases are thought to be hereditary, meaning that they result directly from gene changes (mutations) passed on from a parent. Most women who get breast cancer do not have a family history of the disease, but women who have close blood relatives with breast cancer have a higher risk’. Other risk factors of breast cancer include obesity, age, radiation exposure, and alcoholic beverages. Women who have never been pregnant, had their period at a young age, had experienced menopause after age 55 or had their first child at an older age are also prone to having breast cancer.
How do you lower your risk?
Research shows that lifestyle changes can help the risk of having breast cancer, even in women at high risk. Here are some modifications that can help improve and optimize overall health:
Exercise. Staying physically active can help you maintain a healthy weight. You can dance, walk or swim for at least 150 hours per week. Reducing the amount of calories from the food you eat each day can also help in losing weight.
Avoid alcohol. Limit yourself to one (1) glass a day. The more alcohol you drink, the more you increase your risk of developing breast cancer.
Breastfeed. The health benefits of breastfeeding is worth the effort for you and your baby. It also lowers your breast cancer risk. Doctors say that the more you breastfeed, the longer your protection will be.
Do self-check. Always do a self-breast examination and if you notice any lump or skin changes, consult your doctor immediately. Don’t ignore the warning signs. Stay vigilant about breast cancer prevention. It’s okay to be overreacting sometimes.
What else can you do?
Get an insurance plan before you need it.
Breast cancer treatment may cost you around PHP300,000 up to millions - from laboratory tests expenses to surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. If you do not have a solid health plan, imagine how much funds you’ll need to raise for breast cancer treatment alone.
Insurance helps ease you and your family’s financial burden while dealing with your illness. It lessens your worries and anxiety and gives you more time to focus on getting better.
This Breast Cancer Awareness Month, increase your protection from breast cancer and ready your defense against the financial hardships it can bring.
Paramount Direct offers health insurance products such as our HealthCare Cash Plan and Hospital Income Benefit Plan that can cover hospitalization due to a critical illness like breast cancer. They provide cash benefits at the end of hospital confinements. We also have comprehensive insurance called PrimeHealth Cash Plan which includes life, accidental death and critical illness benefits.
These products are designed to suit your budget and needs. For as low as PHP69* per month, get the protection you deserve. Visit www.paramountdirect.com to learn more about these products and apply online.
*Based on our Hospital Income Benefit Plan, insurance age of 20, individual coverage and Plan 500.