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Discovery Life published details of its life assurance claims from January 2015 to December 2015. A total of 19 591 claims were paid over the period, amounting to R2.8 billion. Unnatural deaths accounted for 21% of all claims in 2015.As many as 60% of Discovery Life claimants were older than 50 in the same period...
Discovery Vitality, Woolworths and Prue Leith Chefs Academy are on a mission to get people back into the kitchen. The newly launched HealthyFood Studio is a fully equipped, state-of-the-art culinary studio based in Sandton, where classes deal various aspects of nutritious cooking. These are taught and demonstrated by a Prue Leith professional, using fresh ingredients from Woolworths.
Discovery Health Medical Scheme spent over R177 million for breast cancer drugs in 2015
Breast cancer affects the young, old, women and men. Raising awareness of and supporting early detection of this most-common cancer among South African women will help save more lives. When breast cancer is detected early, the survival rate is as high as 95%. Discovery Health and the Discovery Health Medical Scheme support early detection through screening. The Scheme’s Screening and Prevention Benefit will, from 2017 as part of benefit changes, now provide clinically appropriate screening for all members, with enhanced screening benefits for those at a higher risk.
In an effort to raise awareness of the prevalence of breast cancer, Discovery Health shares some of the 2015 claims statistics of Discovery Health Medical Scheme members who received treatment for breast cancer.
Age is not among the most indicative risk factors
In 2015, there were 9 984 Discovery Health Medical Scheme members who received treatment for breast cancer. Of the women receiving treatment, 79% were older than 50. This means that over 20% of cases occurred in women below the age of 50 and in some cases in women in their 20s and 30s. Although age increases the risk for developing breast cancer and the most advanced cases generally occur in women older than 50, there are many risk factors that contribute to breast cancer occurring at any age.
This was evident from the women who received treatment in 2015. The youngest among the 9905 females registered on the Discovery Health Medical Scheme Oncology Programme for breast cancer treatment was only 19 years old. The oldest among them was 97 years old. Family history, genetic predisposition, having babies later, oestrogen exposure over time, dense breast tissue, lifestyle behaviour, and hormone replacement therapy have all been linked to breast cancer.
Men also get breast cancer
The risk factors for breast cancer apply to men too. It is a misconception that breast cancer only occurs amongst women. In 2015, there were 79 men on Discovery Health Medical Scheme who underwent treatment for breast cancer, their ages ranging from 30 to 85 or older. The highest prevalence of breast cancer among men, were between the ages of 45 and 74.
Breast cancer treatment and cost
There are many different ways to assess breast health. Regular self-examination is the first and a crucial ongoing step. Up to 60% of women present with lumps bigger than five centimetres at diagnosis, which could indicate the need to raise the importance of self-examination. Regular screening and awareness of family history are important for both males and females.
Breast cancer is treated in many ways and different types of specialists work together. Surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy or a combination is the main treatment for breast cancer. In 2015, Discovery Health Medical Scheme paid over R177.5 million on breast cancer medicines. A total of R71.7 million of that amount went towards one drug, Trastuzumab (Herceptin)
Signs and symptoms to be aware of
The lifetime risk of breast cancer in women in South Africa is one in every 29. It is important to know what to look out for and warning signs of breast cancer include: general pain, irritation or itchiness, a lump, thickening or swollen skin, a change in breast size or how the breast feels, any skin changes. Consult a medical professional if any of these signs are present for an assessment.
Discovery Health Medical Scheme pays for one mammogram each year for men and women. Only consultation costs will come from member funds. Tests to determine the breast cancer susceptibility genes are paid from day-to-day benefits. The oncology benefit provides comprehensive cover for consultations and treatment. In lower plans, all claims are paid in full up to a limit of R200,000 plans and R400,000 on higher plans. Claims above these limits are paid at 80%, with no upper limit.
Even 2.5 hours of brisk walking a week notably reduces risk for cancer
CEO of Discovery Health, Dr Broomberg says, “with regular screening as many as 64% of people are diagnosed at stage 1. Early diagnosis has many patient benefits, and it reduces cost of treatment by up to 9%.” He also adds that a study of 1.4 million people by the American Institute for Cancer Research showed that the risk for certain cancers were reduced by up to 20%, and up to 7% for all cancers, with regular physical activity.
Please direct all enquiries to:
Discovery Health Reputation Manager
Thulaganyo Khensani Mthombeni
Email Khensanimth@discovery.co.za or call 011 529 0091
About Discovery Limited
Discovery Limited is a South African-founded financial services organisation that operates in the healthcare, life assurance, short-term insurance, savings and investment products and wellness markets. Founded in 1992, Discovery was guided by a clear core purpose – to make people healthier and to enhance and protect their lives. Underpinning this core purpose is the belief that through innovation, Discovery can be a powerful market disruptor.
The company, with headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa, has expanded its operations globally and currently serves over 5 million clients across South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States, China, Singapore and Australia. Discovery recently partnered with Generali, a leading insurer in Europe, and has partnered with John Hancock in the US. These new partnerships will bring Discovery’s shared-value business model to protection industries in Europe and the US.
Vitality, Discovery’s wellness programme, is the world’s largest scientific, incentive-based wellness solution for individuals and corporates. The global Vitality membership base now exceeds three million lives in five markets.
Discovery is an authorised financial services provider and trades under the code “DSY” on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange.
Follow us on Twitter @Discovery_SA
Breast cancer affects the young, old, women and men. Raising awareness of and supporting early detection of this most-common cancer among South African women will help save more lives. When breast cancer is detected early, the survival rate is as high as 95%. Discovery Health and the Discovery Health Medical Scheme support early detection through screening.
Discovery announced the date of its eighth Discovery Leadership Summit to be held in Sandton, Johannesburg on 14 November 2016. The Summit is a flagship, global thought-leadership event that enables the sharing of intellectual capital to contribute to leadership in business, government and civil society...
Earlier today, Discovery hosted entrepreneurs for the inaugural discussion on the use of technology to drive medical innovation.
Following the successful launch of the global Vitality programme in Germany in July 2016, Generali Vitality will soon be available to corporate clients in France thereby expanding Vitality’s European footprint. From 1 January 2017, Generali Vitality will be available as a voluntary part of health and prevention insurance contracts offered to corporate clients.
Johannesburg, South Africa – 6 September 2016. Discovery Limited today presented its annual financial results for the period ended 30 June 2016.
Discovery provides innovative and unique financial services and assurance products which integrate with our trend-setting wellness programme - Vitality. Discovery operates in South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Asia, China, Australia and Europe.