Breast cancer and financial advice

2016-10-27 06:00


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BREAST cancer is the most common cancer among South African women affecting about 1 in 33 women.

Statistics by the Cancer Association of SA (CANSA) shows that breast cancer poses a very real threat to South African women. Cancer cover is an important part of your financial planning.

Cancer isn’t something that people plan for. But one of the common lessons that cancer survivors share is the ‘surprise’ cost associated with treating cancer.

Dread disease cover

When they’re diagnosed, many people worry about funding their medical costs. The deductibles, co-payments, limits and sub-limits on medical cover often require cancer patients to make additional financial provision for their treatment.

Research shows that 1 in 8 people with advanced cancer turn down recommended care because of the cost. But even with comprehensive medial cover where patients don’t have to pay any medical costs out of their own pockets, many are surprised by other costs they hadn’t envisaged.

Medical bills are only part of a bigger picture. The travelling costs to specialists who are often not close by or the cost of getting someone to look after children, are some of the things most cancer survivors say they didn’t anticipate. Everyone should consider buying dread disease cover because it offers critical assistances with these financially crippling costs.

Income protection

Apart from the unforeseen costs, patients who require surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy are temporarily debilitated – often to such an extent that they’re unable to continue working. This can mean a loss of income, which is potentially devastating for your family – especially if you’re a parent or breadwinner.

Disability cover and life insurance

Disability cover is additional insurance that’s crucial for someone with debt liabilities. This cover pays a lump sum if you develop a permanent disability as a result of your illness. You can combine it with income protection or dread disease policies or you can take it out as a stand-alone benefit. Life cover is just as important when you have debts and dependents.

Psychological affects of cancer

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can be brought on by a traumatic event. PTSD can happen after a life-threatening situation, such as breast cancer diagnosis or cancer recurrence. PTSD can affect your ability to cope with life’s daily chores and inconveniences and make it difficult to function. It’s important to seek counselling once one is diagnosed with cancer.

Parts of this article is an excerpt from Sanlam.

You could contact me on 083 399 3905, my office on 032-944 3051 or e-mail me on for an appointment or further information and any other financial advice.

I am a financial planner for the past 33 years (18 years with Old Mutual and 14 years at East Coast Financial Services as the director).


The information is only intended to be of a general nature and should not be relied upon by any part without obtaining full details from a licenced financial service provider.

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