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The tipping point in the fight against cancer has now been reached and more than half of those diagnosed will now survive.
Every so often we are hit by a wham of a headline announcing that we are all at risk of some terrible disease. The most common form of cancer in Ireland is malignant melanoma and anyone, not only sunbathers, can fall victim to it. Childhood swimming, gardening or even sitting in a conservatory could lead to skin cancer.
Rising survival rates
On the plus side the survival rate for malignant melanoma has risen from 46 per cent to 89 per cent in the last 40 years. A cancer diagnosis must be one of the scariest experiences that we might ever face. "Paralysing' is the term used to describe it by people who've lived through the experience. Over the past half century millions of euros have been poured into cancer research, in a unified attempt by all of humanity to find a cure for this terminal disease.
Thankfully however, cancer is losing its status as the 'incurable' disease, with rising survival and cure rates. A milestone was reached in 2011 when it was announced by the National Cancer Registry that more than half of all people diagnosed with the illness in Ireland would now survive the disease.
|Five-year relative survival by year of diagnosis|
|Age at diagnosis||1994 - 1999||2000 - 2004||2005 - 2009|
|All invasive cancers – both genders aged between 15 and 99 years||44.7%||52.5%||57.5%|
|All invasive cancers – men aged between 15 and 99 years||40.9%||51.4%||57.7%|
|All invasive cancers – women aged between 15 and 99 years||47.9%||52.9%||56.6%|
Source: NCRI Database - December 2013
Almost four out of five people diagnosed with prostate cancer in Ireland can expect to be alive 10 years later. The outlook is almost as good for breast cancer with almost three quarters of patients still alive 10 years later. What was noted though was our lower than average survival rates for cancers caught at an advanced stage.
Get yourself checked
Catching cancer late is easy to avoid, check yourself, take advantage of free government schemes and have a regular check up with your GP. Chances are nothing will be wrong but if it is, the sooner it is caught the easier the treatment will be and the brighter the outcome!
You have cancer but don’t worry you’re likely to be fine
Cancer Research UK's chief executive Dr Harpal Kumar said that during the past 20 years that had been an "explosion" in our understanding of cancer. In 20 years’ time, he said, “we want three quarters of the people (in the UK) who hear those words: ‘you’ve got cancer’, to also hear the words: ‘but don’t worry you’ll be fine’. We firmly believe that’s achievable.”
The fate of cancer as a fatal illness is surely the dustbin of history but treatments can still be expensive, not to mention all the hidden costs that come together with cancer. Sometimes you are unable to work while receiving treatment. There are also a range of other expenses like travel, help at home, cost of essential dietary supplements, possible heating bills and home adaptations cost of parking at the hospital, are examples of unforeseen expenses. It is wise for you to make sure that you are able to invest all of your energy in defeating the condition without having to worry about finances.
The AIG Cancer Cover policy allows you to do just that. Providing you with a one-off cash payment in the event of a covered cancer diagnosis, this policy the new AIG policy relieves you of much of the financial burden that comes hand in hand with a cancer diagnosis, allowing you to help you pay of all those unforeseen expenses. Find out more and get a free quote.
Does Organic food help prevent cancer? Read our recent article to find out!
The article was written by the MedOnline Medical Team. MedOnline is an interactive web/mobile clinic. The views expressed in this article are those of MedOnline and do not necessarily reflect the views of AIG Europe Limited.