Published 16 Feb 2016
Despite endless research both in Australia and across the world, cancer continues to change the lives of millions of people every year. One of the major challenges faced by professionals is the fact that there are so many different forms of the disease, with some unique to specific sexes, or further affected by certain hereditary traits.
Not only is the disease a major reason for people pursuing critical illness claims, the treatment can be just as difficult a process. Chemotherapy is a notoriously challenging ordeal for the human body to manage, with side effects ranging from hair loss to muscle and stomach pain.
Unfortunately, the number of affected Australians is rising. Is this likely to change in the future?
Cancer Council releases new statistics
The Cancer Council revealed that the disease has reached a new milestone in Australia. Unfortunately, it's an unhappy one, with the organisation finding that the number of cancer patients spread across Australia has topped 1,000,000 for the first time.
According to CEO of Cancer Council Australia Professor Sanchia Aranda, the country's ageing population is having a notable effect on these statistics. With Australians living longer than ever before, there's simply a greater quantity of people susceptible to the disease during their senior years.
"The main reason for the increase in cancer prevalence is that we are living longer in general and more people with cancer are surviving," she explained. "Around 130,000 Australians are likely to be diagnosed with cancer this year and more than 65 per cent will survive for five years, with many going into permanent remission."
However, there is a darker alternative to the news. The Cancer Council found that, relative to other disease groups, cancer patients are losing more life years than people with other illnesses. That being said, some treatment paths are advancing, giving hope to people who have had to make critical illness claims to preserve their quality of life.
Because of this, Professor Aranda, believes the country can do a lot more to help victims, as there are still some stories of success.
"More than a million Australians living with or having survived cancer should be at the forefront of the discussion," she said. "We also need to do practical things on the ground to support our survivors, as a community."
To find out more about critical illness claims, contact the team at Gerard Malouf and Partners.