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Protect yourself from rising medical costs with proper health insurance coverage

In the Philippines, cancer continues to be one of the leading causes of death—with lung, breast, colon, rectum, and prostate cancer being the most common. In a startling statistic from the University of the Philippines’ Institute of Human Genetics, National Institutes of Health, 189 out of every 100,000 Filipinos are affected by the disease, with 96 patients succumbing to cancer every day. This averages around four deaths every hour.

These are alarming numbers, and cancer cases are expected to increase significantly over the next decade. According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, from 154 cases per 1,000 (ages 0 to 85+), the number of cancer incidences is projected to jump to 211 per 1,000 by 2030. On the other hand, deaths by cancer are estimated to increase by 30%, from 10 million deaths in 2020 to over 13 million deaths by 2030. These are lives in numbers, and the impact of cancer on families and loved ones is immeasurable. 

Fortunately, cancer research has led to numerous advances in medical intervention, making the disease not only more treatable but also preventable. These advancements in cancer interventions and treatments include radiation therapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapy, and chemotherapy.

When it comes to battling the “Big C,” while treatments are available, they are proven to be expensive and inaccessible to most Filipinos. Among those diagnosed with cancer, 7 of 10 patients do not complete treatment as the cost can go over P1 million. Chemotherapy, one of the most common treatments available in the country, starts at P20,000 per session and can go as high as P120,000. This is a hefty sum and unfortunately out of reach for the general population. 


So, when it comes to cancer, prevention is better than cure—as 30% to 50% of cancers can be avoided, according to the World Health Organization. You can significantly reduce your risk by maintaining a healthy weight, getting regular exercise, following a healthy and balanced diet, avoiding tobacco and alcohol consumption, as well as getting vaccinated for hepatitis and the human papilloma virus (HPV), which are responsible for liver and cervical cancers. 

Regular and appropriate screening is also important, as this will help ensure early diction of cancer. Consult a doctor, they can provide an accurate assessment of your health and determine any risk factors that can be addressed immediately.

While preventive measures can be taken, you also need to protect yourself and your family by covering all bases. Shield yourself and your family from the financial burden that arises from health emergencies by saving a part of your income and getting health insurance.

Manulife HealthFlex is one such plan that offers broad protection and it lets you pay only for the coverage you need. Choose from four HealthFlex bundles and get protected for up to 112 critical illnesses.

Want to stay protected while achieving your financial goals? Add a Critical Illness Rider to a variable life insurance plan like Manulife FutureBoost so you can get coverage for serious health setbacks.

The statistics for cancer can be daunting, but there is hope for health and healing. We can make better choices to reduce risks and safeguard our health. With proper planning and the right partner such as Manulife, you can set yourself and your loved ones with a more secure and protected future.  

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