Thinking about Bowel Cancer during Bowel Cancer Awareness Month in NZ.

 I dodged this bullet by the skin of my teeth some years back thanks to the vigilance of my GP.  I had become constipated and put up with this for some weeks.  It was unusual for me but I did not think much about it.  In the end I went to my GP just to see if he would prescribe some laxatives to help. 

The first words out of his mouth upon listening to me describing my symptoms were “No one needs to die from Bowel Cancer in this day and age Dave!”

I was shocked as that was not even on my  mind.  However a month later a Colonoscopy found and removed three malignant polyps and afterwards my Specialist said I was lucky as was on the cusp of having a section of my bowel removed.

My symptoms were not really that bad, so my message from my experience is do not delay, if your bowel habits change please go and see your GP as soon as possible.

Also plan for the worst, a Major Trauma Cover will pay a lump sum to you if you are unfortunate enough to suffer an invasive malignant tumour needing surgery or radiotherapy etc.  This can help to meet unforeseen medical costs (particularly if you do not have Health Insurance to cover these), meet ongoing living expenses should your income be affected.or just to give you peace of mind that you have an Emergency Fund on hand should it be needed.

Statistics of bowel cancer rates in NZ

• Bowel Cancer affects people of all ages

• Bowel cancer is the second highest cause of cancer-related death in NZ, 2nd to Lung cancer

• The incidence of bowel cancer in New Zealand is amongst the highest in the world 

• 3000 + New Zealanders are diagnosed with bowel cancer every year 

• 1200 + will die from bowel cancer every year

• 300 + under 50 will be diagnosed with bowel cancer each year 

• It is estimated that 1 in 18 New Zealanders will develop bowel cancer in their lifetime

Remember – While bowel cancer is more common in the 50 years + age group, bowel cancer affects people of all ages.

If you have symptoms of concern, do not accept ‘you’re too young to have bowel cancer’ as an explanation for your symptoms – ask your GP to be referred for further investigations.

(Source: www.beatbowelcancer.org.nz)

Major Trauma Cover – what it can do for you.

In the event the insured meets the definitions outlined in the tables below for each respective insurer a lump sum (for the amount they have insured themselves for) will be paid directly to them.  They do not need to have stopped work, the claim is paid solely based on meeting the medical definitions of invasiveness. 

I have experienced more claims for Cancer under major Trauma Policies than for any other type of condition in the 18 years I have been providing insurance advice.  If you don’t have a Trauma Cover in your plan please feel free to email me (dave@financialhealth.co.nz) and I would be happy to provide you with some options from our stable of insurers.

Example’s of Major Trauma Cover Definitions for Cancer Cover

Asteron Life Personal Insurance Cancer - means the presence of one or more invasive malignant tumours, including melanomas, leukaemia, malignant bone marrow disorders, Hodgkin’s lymphoma and malignant lymphomas, characterised by: • the uncontrolled growth and spread of malignant cells; and • the invasion and destruction of normal tissue, and must also: – require treatment (whether undertaken or not) that includes surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, biological response modifiers or any other major treatment to arrest the spread of the malignancy and the treatment is the appropriate and necessary treatment; or – be totally incurable.”
AMP Risk Protection PlanCancer - We will pay if the Life Insured suffers the occurrence of an invasive malignant tumour. The following are included:
 Prostate tumour classified as T1 (all categories) under the TNM classification system, or a Gleason Score of 6 or more, or of an equivalent classification if the tumour is confirmed by histological examination and requires the person insured to undertake major interventionist therapy including radiotherapy, brachytherapy, chemotherapy, biological response modifiers or any other major treatment, or if the tumour is completely untreatable.
 Carcinoma in situ of the testicle, where one or both testes are removed by radical orchidectomy.
 Tumours classified as carcinoma in situ of the breast or other organ requiring Radical Surgery.
 Leukaemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and malignant melanomas of at least Clark Level 3 or 1.5mm Breslow thickness or greater or where the melanoma is showing histological evidence of ulceration, unless specified below. “