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Men's Health Month and Critical Illness Insurance

Men's Health Month and Critical Illness Insurance

Fred J. Hegner, CPCU, FLMI

General Manager of Regional Health: Focusing on a Simple and Engaging Journey for the Insurance Customer

Publish Nov 15, 2021

 

November is commonly known as "Men's Health Month" or "Movember", a creative marketing name whose credit goes to Travis Garone and Luke Slattery, two Australians who back in 2003 were inspired to grow moustaches to support their friend's mother who was fundraising for breast cancer.

 

Eighteen years later and the men's health movement is alive and well. While beards and moustaches are commonly associated with masculinity, the reality is that not every man wants to or can grow a beard or moustache to raise awareness for men's health issues. Needless to say, I am trying one again to support this important month with my newly minted beard sporting a lighter shade of grey (but I can't count fifty shades yet...wink wink). Young or old with facial hair or without, men around the world need to rally together to support the cause and raise awareness for serious diseases such as prostate and testicular cancer that can strike down men in the prime of their life.

 

Young or old with facial hair or without, men around the world need to rally together to support the cause and raise awareness for serious diseases such as prostate and testicular cancer that can strike down men in the prime of their life.

 

Prostate cancer is the second most commonly occurring cancer in men and the fourth most commonly occurring cancer overall.  In 2020, over 1.6 million men were diagnosed with prostate cancer according to the World Cancer Research Fund. Roughly 80 new cases are detected in every 100,000 men every year and the figure keeps growing. The good news is that improving technology with prostate marker antigen tests (or PSA tests) allows detection to happen earlier leading to fewer fatal cases. Fortunately, the five-year survival rate with early detection cases can be as high as 98%. Nevertheless, not all tests are 100% accurate and if caught later after it spreads, the survival rate drops sharply to 30% according to the Cancer Editorial Board.

 

In 2020, over 1.6 million men were diagnosed with prostate cancer according to the World Cancer Research Fund....if caught later after it spreads, the [five-year] survival rate drops sharply to 30%...

 

Testicular cancer while much less prevalent (it impacts roughly 1.5 out of every 100,000 men) can be just as serious if diagnosed at an advanced stage. The rate of testicular cancer has been increasing for men at a younger age over the last five years for unknown reasons. For men between the ages of 15 to 35, it accounts for 12% of all cancer deaths. The good news is that fairly progressive testicular cancer (stage 3 or lower) has a survival rate of 90%. Like prostrate cancer, there are common antigen marker tests available to detect it, but given its prevalence at an earlier age, medical professionals recommend that teenage boys and younger men check their testes regularly for unusual lumps or shapes.

 

Testicular cancer while much less prevalent (it impacts roughly 1.5 out of every 100,000 men) can be just as serious if diagnosed at an advanced stage.

 

Here in Thailand and throughout parts of Southeast Asia, both prostate and testicular cancer are on the rise. In Thailand, prostate cancer is considered the 4th most common cancer behind lung, liver, and colon cancer. Roughly 7.5 cases in every 100,000 men are detected every year and the rise in detection has been due to better tests (PSA tests were first available in Thailand in 1991). Five-year survival rates of prostate cancer are much lower in Thailand (roughly 63%) compared to the US and Europe where it is closer to 90% (as more cases are detected at an earlier stage). In Malaysia, the prostate cancer incidence is roughly 6.3 cases in every 100,000 men and rising with a slightly better five-year survival rate of 70%.

 

Five-year survival rates of prostate cancer are much lower in Thailand (roughly 63%) compared to the US and Europe where it is closer to 90% (as more cases are detected at an earlier stage).

 

For testicular cancer, the incidence rates are less than 1 case in every 100,000 men, and the overall five-year survival rates in both Thailand and Malaysia are higher at 85 to 90% respectively. Nevertheless, it is a serious disease for those who do not get diagnosed early enough especially at younger ages. In ages 15 to 40, testicular cancer is the highest leading cause of death among all cancers in men.

 

[Testicular cancer] is a serious disease for those who do not get diagnosed early enough especially at younger ages. In ages 15 to 40, testicular cancer is the highest leading cause of death among all cancers in men.

 

Here at Tune Protect, we want to bring attention to men's health and cancers such as prostate and testicular impacting men. In Thailand, we have recently launched our critical illness insurance product "myFlexi CI" with our partner PGH, a leading "Second Medical Opinion" company. If any of our customers are diagnosed with an early or late stage cancer, our product will offer a lump sum of income as a safety net to give our customers peace of mind in case they cannot work or have family obligations. Our partner PGH through a program called "myEliteDoctor" will offer a second medical opinion and specialized treatment plans to improve our customer's quality of life and their survival rate if diagnosed with cancer.

 

If any of our customers are diagnosed with an early or late stage cancer, our product will offer a lump sum of income as a safety net to give our customers peace of mind in case they cannot work or have family obligations.

 
 
As you can see below, we have also broken down the cost of medical treatment for cancer in Thailand to show our customers why Critical Illness insurance such as "myFlexi CI" is so important to add as a safety net to support their families. This is especially important for men if they are the main income earner in their family and are forced to lose time off work (or can no longer work) due to being diagnosed with cancer.
 
 

We will be launching a new Critical Illness product in Malaysia and with our insurance partners in Cambodia, Vietnam, and the Middle East in 2022. We believe that the Critical Illness product is an anchor product for our Health business and we want to be there to protect our customers from cancer and other debilitating diseases.

 

We believe that the Critical Illness product is an anchor product for our Health business and we want to be there to protect our customers from cancer and other debilitating diseases.

 

To all men out there: get checked regularly for prostate and testicular cancer. And look to us here at Tune Protect to be your partners in health. Not only do we offer you a valuable service and product; we are here to partner with you in your health journey. So here's to your health this month, with or without the facial hair.

 

Look to us here at Tune Protect to be your partners in health. Not only do we offer you a valuable service and product; we are here to partner with you in your health journey.

 

 


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