Run for Cover
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.