A diagnosis of breast cancer can be challenging emotionally, physically, spiritually and financially. There is support available for all aspects of your care but for now the most important guidance we can offer is to take things one step at a time.
What are the breast cancer stats?
So far, in 2017, 17,586 women and 144 men have been diagnosed with breast cancer in Australia. The risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer by age 85 is 1 in 8 for women and 1 in 715 for men.
As you can see in the *table below, breast cancer is the highest diagnosed cancer amongst Australians.
In Australia, the overall five-year survival rate for breast cancer in females is 90%. If the cancer is limited to the breast, 96% of patients will be alive five years after diagnosis; this figure excludes those who die from other diseases. If the cancer has spread to the regional lymph nodes, five-year relative survival drops to 80%.
The flow on effect of breast cancer
Experiencing breast cancer is overwhelming for both the individual and their family and the obstacles ahead go beyond the medical treatment. Cancer can cause financial problems. The potential loss of income by being absent from work before, during and after treatment can lead to a decrease in the ability to pay bills and everyday living expenses. Medical treatment can also be a financial drain. When you factor in medicine, insurance gaps, travel, food, and other services and equipment not covered by insurance – the costs may become a huge burden for all involved.
When considering breast cancer as an illness and the above insurance policies, the two most appropriate are Income Protection and Trauma/Living Benefit/Critical Illness. The Trauma policy would provide a lump sum in the event of you meeting the breast cancer definition (if you would like to know more about the definition please contact our Financial Planning Expert - Tony Marshall) while the Income Protection Policy will provide 75% of your income if you were unable to perform your employment duties.
Did you know? According to BT Life (one of the insurers in the market place), cancer makes up 66% of all claims and breast cancer makes up a significant amount of that 66%. See below.
The cost of breast cancer
Now, we have provided some context around why trauma policies are important the next step is to establish a basis for how much insurance you need. In every circumstance, this answer will be different for people as their circumstances are different and at WD Nicholls Chartered Accountants we believe tailoring this cover to your circumstances is essential.
However, to provide some information on the financial costs of, for example, Breast Cancer, a recent survey conducted by the Breast Cancer Network Australia revealed that the total costs for women with private health insurance are higher for women who are without it. One quarter of privately insured women reported out-of-pocket expenses greater than $ 21,000.
We are here to help and support you. Call (02) 6684 2502 to speak with one of our Financial Planning Experts. We will be with you all the way.