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Health Consulting Helps Drive Cancer Awareness

Cancer is a global health crisis that affects millions of people every year, and its impact is particularly significant in South Africa. Cancer awareness and prevention are vital components in the fight against this devastating disease. Cancer is set to become a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the coming decades in every region of the world. Research predicts an increase in the incidence of all-cancer cases from 12,7 million new cases in 2008 to 22,2 million by 2030.

Furthermore, according to the World Health Organization

  • Cancer was a leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for nearly ten million deaths in 2020, or nearly one in six deaths.
  • Many cancers can be cured if detected early and treated effectively.
  • The most common cancers are breast, lung, colon, rectum, and prostate cancers.
  • Around one-third of deaths from cancer are due to tobacco use, high body mass index, alcohol consumption, low fruit and vegetable intake, and lack of physical activity.
  • Cancer-causing infections, such as Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and Hepatitis, are responsible for approximately 30% of cancer cases in low- and lower-middle-income countries.

The importance of Cancer Awareness and how healthcare screening can play a pivotal role in addressing the challenges and improving the healthcare system's response to cancer. Cancer is a major public health concern in our country with various unique challenges, such as a high prevalence of certain types of cancer, late-stage diagnosis, limited access to healthcare, and disparities in cancer outcomes across different population groups.

According to the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA), the top 5 invasive cancers reported include:

Males:

      1. Prostate
      2. Colorectal
      3. Lung
      4. Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
      5. Melanoma

Females:

      1. Breast
      2. Cervix
      3. Colorectal
      4. Uterus
      5. Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

These cancers are often detected at advanced stages, making them harder to treat successfully. During this Cancer Awareness month, it is crucial to share valuable information and fight against cancer. Raising awareness can lead to positive outcomes, including improved prevention, early diagnosis, and increased support for cancer patients.

The role of the Healthcare sector, represented by various companies related to health and medical care, plays a vital role in improving the cancer care landscape. There are several ways in which the healthcare industry can contribute to the fight against cancer, such as research and collaboration among medical institutions to foster innovation in cancer treatment and diagnosis. This involves exploring new treatment methods, technologies, and drugs.

Another vital aspect is the collection and analysis of data to understand cancer patterns and outcomes. This data-driven approach can aid in developing evidence-based cancer prevention and treatment strategies. It's crucial to recognise that everyone can contribute to managing the expenses associated with cancer care, from medical schemes and regulators to healthcare personnel and the government. By identifying areas where cost savings or efficiencies can be achieved while still maintaining quality patient care, we can all collaborate to keep expenses under control.

Sasfin Health Consulting functions as an intermediary (financial advisor) in the healthcare ecosystem. As a participant within this collaborative network, our expertise lies in working with and complementing medical schemes and health insurers, focusing on providing members with advice on selecting the correct medical scheme/health insurance policy and guiding them to make optimal plan choices. In the face of a constantly evolving healthcare landscape and changing personal health situations, our priority is to ensure the ongoing alignment of the chosen health plan based on the members' needs and budget and advising individuals on products that complement and provide cover for the “gaps” applicable to their chosen medical scheme option.

In addition, healthcare consultants help in understanding the intricacies of medical scheme and/or insurance policy coverage. They guide patients on how to navigate the claims process, including submitting documentation and working with insurance companies to get the maximum benefit from their policies.

In the case of cancer, we understand the challenges regardless of whether you are the patient or a family member. Our highly skilled and experienced consultants will provide independent and holistic advice and ensure that members are made aware of how to apply to the scheme if they require specific treatment underscoring why keeping members well-informed about their healthcare financing choices in an inflationary healthcare system is becoming increasingly crucial.

In Summary, at Sasfin Health Consulting, we ensure that we provide tailored healthcare solutions when it matters most.

About the Author

Zanele Matipwili
Senior Key Accounts Manager, Sasfin Health Consulting

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