Run for Cover

Simply Her (Singapore) - - Bookends Event -

com­monly as­so­ci­ated with men, women are less likely to seek med­i­cal at­ten­tion, and their symptoms are also of­ten mis­di­ag­nosed. How­ever, car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­eases ac­tu­ally ac­count for one-third of deaths among women.

The most vul­ner­a­ble are women who smoke; in fact, smok­ing in­creases the risk of heart dis­ease six-fold. Other risk fac­tors in­clude menopause, a fam­ily his­tory of heart dis­ease and health con­di­tions such as di­a­betes, hy­per­ten­sion and obe­sity.

Dr Khu­rana ad­vised that a bal­anced diet which in­cludes lean pro­tein, good fats and plenty of fruits and veg­eta­bles is the best de­fence against heart dis­ease. To lower your risk fur­ther, he sug­gests life­style changes, such as quit­ting smok­ing, los­ing weight (for those with a BMI above 25), and ex­er­cis­ing reg­u­larly. As es­sen­tial as it is to stay healthy, it is just as im­por­tant to know that you are cov­ered med­i­cally and fi­nan­cially should any health emer­gency arise. For for­mer na­tional net­ball player Mary Lee, this couldn’t have hit closer to home. Ev­ery­thing was go­ing well for Mary – she had a young fam­ily and a thriv­ing ca­reer. But her life was turned up­side down in 2012, when she was di­ag­nosed with Stage 2 breast can­cer.

The can­cer treat­ments took a toll on Mary, as well as her fam­ily. Be­sides symptoms like hair loss, vom­it­ing and con­stant fa­tigue, she also ex­pe­ri­enced a loss of ap­petite and de­vel­oped in­fec­tions. Her hus­band had to take a year off from work to care for her and their two young daugh­ters. The can­cer im­pacted the fam­ily fi­nan­cially, too, with the to­tal cost of Mary’s treat­ment amount­ing to a whop­ping $200,000.

Thank­fully, Mary had an in­sur­ance plan un­der Great Eastern Life, which cov­ered the cost of her hos­pi­tal stays and dras­ti­cally re­duced her fi­nan­cial bur­den. “It also gave me great peace of mind know­ing that I could still af­ford to save for my daugh­ters’ fu­tures. Can­cer can af­fect just about any­one, so I strongly urge you to seek ad­e­quate fi­nan­cial pro­tec­tion,” she added.

He touched on the symptoms as­so­ci­ated with breast can­cer, such as pain­less lumps in the breast, and changes in breast size or shape. Dr Woo urged women above the age of 30 to con­duct regular breast self-ex­am­i­na­tions as that’s when the risk of breast can­cer in­creases pro­gres­sively.

He went on to ex­plain the types of surgery avail­able for breast can­cer, such as a mas­tec­tomy (re­moval of the en­tire breast) and lumpec­tomy (re­moval of a por­tion of the breast). The lat­ter is a less in­va­sive, less de­form­ing tech­nique that has been gain­ing pop­u­lar­ity in re­cent years. How­ever, Dr Woo qual­i­fied that only pa­tients whose tu­mour size is small in re­la­tion to the breast can un­dergo a lumpec­tomy.

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