There are certain illnesses or diseases that women of a certain age should take extra care to look out for. While there are many anti-aging beauty products saturating the market and hogging the consumer spotlight, there's unfortunately less awareness and attention given to overall female health concerns.
Even if there were, they're more depressing than sexy.
Be that as it may, caring about the topic of health is all part and parcel of #adulting and most of the people we see on social media above the age of 25 are already complaining of mysterious aches, pains and sudden lack of ability to party all night and still make it fresh-faced into the office the next day.
If that's you, the most reasonable response would be to look into living a healthier lifestyle and to check if your insurance provider gives comprehensive coverage – especially for common women's diseases. This is especially important if your family has a history of certain illnesses or if you have a pre-existing condition which makes you prone to developing certain diseases later on in life.
Common illnesses and top cause of death
As of 2014, by far the top cancer illness affecting Singapore women is breast cancer, with colorectal and lung coming in second and third respectively. Interestingly, lung and colorectal cancers are the top two cancer illnesses for males in Singapore – which suggests that personal habits and urban living could be more to blame rather than genetics when it comes to health.
Uterus and Ovarian cancer make up the fourth or fifth cancer type, while Thyroid and Cervical cancer come in seventh and eighth on the list of top cancers for Singapore women1.
But what most don't know is that the top cause of death for women in Singapore is not breast cancer but heart failure and stroke. Younger women aged between 21 and 34 years old tend to believe they're not at risk, but this is not true. According to Dr Goh Ping Ping, the medical director for the Singapore Heart Foundation, anyone of any age is susceptible to getting a heart attack2.
The key to fighting this is early prevention in the form of regular exercise and keeping to a healthy diet. Of course it also helps to have health and critical illness insurance coverage that would support the necessary treatment and therapy needed without the sufferer having to pay out of her savings.
What you can do
Start with living the healthiest life that you can by cutting out any unhealthy habits (such as smoking and bad diets) and replace them with more wholesome alternatives.
If you don't already go for an annual medical check-up, then book your appointment soon. It bears repeating that early intervention is key to recovery or successful treatment, when it comes to the diseases mentioned.
And just to ensure that all bases are covered, get yourself a good critical illness insurance cover which protects you from multiple cancers or relapses such as Aviva's MyMultiPay Critical Illness Plan. Unlike most critical illness plans which tend to terminate coverage after you make a claim, MyMultiPay Critical Illness Plan allows you to claim up to 5 times. It also covers across all stages of critical illness (early, intermediate, severe) as well as relapses of the same cancer.
Alternatively, you can consider adding a critical illness rider to your existing life insurance plan which most insurers offer. Early Critical Illness Advance Cover* and Early Critical Illness Cover are some of the riders offered by Aviva that can be added on to an existing Aviva life insurance plan. On top of covering early to severe stages against critical illnesses and cancers, Aviva's critical illness riders also offer a special benefit which covers mastectomy, hysterectomy due to cancer, etc.
If you would like to find out more about critical illnesses and its associated costs, click here to read more!
*Early Critical Illness Advance Cover is only attachable to Aviva’s MyWholeLifePlan
1. "Cancer Statistics" compiled by the National Cancer Centre Singapore (2010 -2014)
2. "Awareness of heart disease low among Singaporean women: Survey", The Straits Times (26 June 2016)