October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and during this time, there is a concerted effort to increase awareness and promote regular screening and early detection of breast cancer. Breast Cancer is one of the most common cancers among women, but early detection combined with a knowledgeable and supportive medical team are the best weapons against this disease.
HOW TO DETECT BREAST CANCER
Self-examination – Every single woman should examine her breasts and underarms monthly to feel for any unusual changes, lumps, and cysts. Should you detect anything concerning during a self-examination, the next step is to contact your healthcare provider.
Preventive screening – All women should go for a mammogram which is an X-Ray of the breast once a year. A mammogram will detect and help diagnose any breast disease like tumors in women that do not show any signs or symptoms of breast cancer. Mammography plays a major role in the early detection of breast cancers, detecting about 75% of cancers at least a year before they can be felt.
SCREENING AND MEDICAL AID BENEFITS
The majority of medical schemes believe prevention is better than cure, and therefore most schemes will provide screening benefits to members that will be covered from either the Prescribed Minimum Benefits or Screening and Prevention Benefits.
Most medical schemes will pay for one mammogram per year, or every second year and scheme members are encouraged to use this benefit. Another beneficial test to query with your medical scheme is the BRCA gene test. This procedure is a blood test that’s done to determine if you have changes (mutations) in your DNA that increase the risk of breast cancer.
TREATMENT AND MEDICAL AID SUPPORT
Should you be diagnosed, early treatment and support from your medical team including, your medical scheme, will give you greater odds and fighting the diseases.
Different medical aids offer various oncology benefits, so it is important to contact your scheme or broker to query what oncology benefits your medical plan includes.
You will have to get pre-authorisation for treatment if you want your scheme to pay for your treatment. They can also require that you enrol in an oncology programme. Speak to your Glopin Healthcare Consultant broker today to help you access your screening as well as treatment benefits.