Prostate cancer makes up 20% of all cancer diagnoses and 10% of all cancer deaths in Canadian men. It is estimated that 1 in every 8 Canadian men will get prostate cancer at some point in their lives, and 1 in 29 won’t survive it. Transgender women and non-binary people who were assigned male at birth are, of course, subject to the same risks.
Because it’s so common, it’s wise to be aware of prostate cancer, its causes, associated risk factors, and symptoms and to be prepared to deal with it if you become ill. In the following paragraphs, we’ll give you some essential information about prostate cancer and how Critical Illness Insurance could potentially help you if you ever face this serious health challenge.
What Is Prostate Cancer?
Prostate cancer starts in the cells of the prostate, a walnut-sized gland in males that produces seminal fluid. The prostate is located below the bladder and in front of the rectum and can affect the urinary and digestive systems if enlarged.
- Difficulty urinating or decreased force in the urine stream
- Painful ejaculations
- Blood in urine or semen
- Erectile dysfunction
- Age: While the risk of developing prostate cancer increases with age, it becomes much more significant after age 50. Prostate cancer is most commonly diagnosed in people over 60.
- Family history: Your risk of developing prostate cancer is higher if you have a first-degree biological relative who has had prostate cancer, and the risk increases the more relatives you have who have had it. Your risk is also higher if those relatives were younger than 65 when they were diagnosed.
- Inherited gene mutations: Scientists are still researching how prostate cancer risk is inherited, but they’ve identified some genetic factors, including two mutations on the HOXB13 gene and mutations of the BRCA2 gene, which also increases a person’s risk for breast cancer. Men are not normally tested for these gene mutations, but breast cancer in their first-degree relatives may mean that they are at greater risk.
- Weight: People who are overweight or obese are at higher risk. A high BMI, a waist circumference over 37cm or a high waist-to-hip ratio are indicators of your weight range.
- Height: Taller adults are at greater risk, although the reasons for this are unclear.
- Many other risk factors are currently under investigation.
You can reduce your risk of prostate cancer by eating a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables, exercising regularly, and maintaining a healthy weight. Screening is key to early diagnosis; the Canadian Cancer Society suggests scheduling regular testing at 45 if you’re at high risk and 50 if you’re not.
Critical Illness Insurance for Prostate Cancer
The good news about prostate cancer is that it has a very high survival rate, especially if it’s caught early. That said, treatment can include surgery and radiation. During these treatments, many people will need to take time off from work. They may also incur expenses such as transportation to treatments, over-the-counter medications, in-home care, and assistive devices. Critical Illness Insurance is potentially one way to replace the lost income and cover these extra costs while undergoing treatment.
Critical Illness Insurance is designed to provide a tax-free lump-sum benefit if you’re diagnosed with one of the illnesses covered by your policy. The benefit is a lump sum you can claim when you receive your diagnosis and can be used for anything you like. This type of insurance has many advantages for people who are at risk of developing prostate cancer:
- It can potentially cover gaps between your provincial employment insurance plan, your provincial health care plan, your employer’s health care plan, and your actual costs.
- You can use the benefit for anything you like: potentially replacing your income or the income of a loved one who stays home to take care of you, reducing the cost of transportation and hotel stays if you have to travel for treatment, additional treatments, and even a relaxing family vacation to help you recover. There are no restrictions on how you use the benefit amount, so if you don’t wind up needing it for immediate expenses, you can hang on to it until you do.
- It can give you peace of mind, knowing you can focus on recovery without rushing back to work or worrying about money.
Although prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers affecting men in Canada, it’s highly treatable if caught early. Ongoing research consistently uncovers better diagnostic tools and treatments, decreasing the mortality rate year-over-year. Being able to focus on treatment and recovery enhances positive outcomes for patients. Having a financial safety net such as critical illness insurance may help reduce stress and allow you to take the time you need to look after yourself.
Canada Protection Plan
Canada Protection Plan offers a range of Critical Illness Insurance plans, including plans exclusively for cancer. Coverage is available up to $100,000 for individuals up to age 75. Rates are based on a simplified underwriting process, meaning that no medical exams or tests are required to apply for coverage. You can potentially even get coverage if you have a pre-existing condition. This faster process also means that your coverage can start in days to weeks, instead of weeks to months with full underwriting.
As a Canadian-owned and operated company, Canada Protection Plan is invested in the health and well-being of Canadians. In addition to our Critical Illness Insurance policies, we offer Term Life Insurance, Permanent Life Insurance, Travel Insurance, and Health and Dental Insurance for all Canadians’ insurance needs.
421244 CAN (11/22)