apr-cancer-month-iconApril is Cancer Control Month, celebrated to shed light on all of the advances in cancer. It is also celebrated to raise awareness of three important factors that affect cancer survival: early detection, prevention and treatment. These factors can help contribute to a better prognosis and help people live longer, healthier lives.
Cancer is a serious disease that is a risk for everyone. However the risk increases with age and other lifestyle factors. These factors include tobacco use, inactivity, unhealthy diet, high alcohol intake and exposure to carcinogens. Unprotected exposure to sunlight can raise your risk for cancer as well.
Regarding age – almost 77% of cancers are found at age 55 and older. All of these factors combined are why it’s incredibly important to keep early detection and prevention in mind.
An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth A Pound Of Cure
This old adage rings true in many cases, especially with something as life-changing as cancer. That’s why early detection and prevention are key. There are many ways to prevent cancer, detailed below.

  • Controlling cancer with tests such as genetic testing and gene therapy, to see if you are at risk for developing certain types of cancers.
  • Avoid unprotected exposure to the sunlight. Be sure to wear sunscreen and take advantage of the shade, if possible.
  • Avoid smoking tobacco and exposure to secondhand smoke.
  • Incorporate a healthy diet into your lifestyle. This means limiting high-fat foods and eating more fruits and vegetables.
  • Limit your alcohol intake.
  • Maintain a healthy weight and ensure you’re living an active lifestyle. Its suggested that 150 minutes per week of moderate aerobic activity is a great goal to strive for.
  • Avoid or eliminate risky behaviors. This includes practicing safe sex.
  • See your doctor! Be sure to take advantage of your preventive care benefits and get regular check-ups and screenings for certain types of cancers.

Planning For The Unexpected
Unfortunately, even with good preventive measures cancer can still happen. That’s why it’s essential to plan for the future – to protect your health and your assets. A cancer diagnosis, or other serious disease, can take a huge toll on your savings. That’s where a critical illness plan comes in.
A critical illness plan can offer a lump sum benefit if you do get diagnosed with most types of cancer. The amount you can expect to receive will depend on your carrier, type of plan and medical condition. However, the amount you receive can pay for the following:

  • Home health care
  • Diagnostic procedures
  • Caregivers
  • Rehabilitation
  • Insurance copayments and deductibles
  • Prescription drugs

It can also be used to pay for daily living expenses, including food, household bills and gas, among others.
For more information on critical illness coverage click here, and contact a Personal Benefits Consultant who can guide you through the process of obtaining the right plan for you. Any questions or concerns you may have will be addressed, and you can rest easy knowing that should a future serious disease happen to you – you are protected!

Wiley Long is founder and president of Medigap Advisors, and is passionate about helping people navigate the confusing waters of Medicare. He is the author of The Medicare Playbook: Designing Your Successful Health Coverage Strategy, a clear and simple explanation so you can make the most of your Medicare coverage.