Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the world, particularly in developing countries like the Philippines as screening procedures are considered too difficult and costly to implement. In 2020, cancer was the second leading cause of death in the country at 62,300 deaths. Leukemia, the cancer of white blood cells, is among the most common types of cancer. Smoking, overexposure to radiation or carcinogenic chemicals, and certain genetic conditions such as Down Syndrome increase the risk of developing leukemia.
AXA Philippines, one of the country’s leading insurance providers, offers important facts to know about leukemia:
Types of leukemia.
The types of leukemia are grouped according to how rapidly the disease develops (acute vs. chronic leukemia) and the type of blood cell involved (lymphocytic and myeloid leukemia).
- In acute leukemia, the abnormal cells increase rapidly, and the bone marrow cells are also unable to function normally. Children aged three to five years old are the most common demographic to acquire this type of leukemia.
- With chronic leukemia, the cells can carry out some of their normal functions and the abnormal cells multiply at a slower rate.
- Lymphocytic leukemia involves growth abnormalities in the lymphocytes while myeloid leukemia affects the myeloid cells.
Symptoms to watch out for.
Some of the warning signs include bleeding or bruising easily, weakness and fatigue, loss of appetite, weight loss, swollen or bleeding gums, bone or joint pain, anemia, and sweating especially at night.
How leukemia is diagnosed.
To determine if a patient has leukemia after exhibiting signs and symptoms, a health care provider may do the following procedures: blood tests, MRI and bone marrow biopsy, and imaging tests such as x-rays, ultrasound, CT scan.
How to minimize the risk of developing leukemia.
Avoiding or quitting smoking is the most significant avoidable risk factor. Aside from quitting smoking, other lifestyle adjustments that you can make include eating healthier and exercising moderately for 150 minutes every week. Also, it’s best to avoid overexposure to the sun, artificial tanning devices, x-rays, and benzene from gasoline fumes, and emissions from some factories that can cause cell damage that may lead to cancer.
Leukemia mortality can be reduced if diagnosed and treated early.
Diagnosis and treatment may come with a hefty price tag, as chemotherapy sessions alone average P120,000 per session.
To protect your health and finances, AXA Philippines offers Health Care Access, a comprehensive and affordable health care solution for hospitalization and other medical needs. Health Care Access comes with a Critical Illness Booster which provides additional cash benefit if one gets diagnosed with any of the 56 critical illness conditions including leukemia. When diagnosed, the additional cash benefit can be used for paying other medical expenses for treatment or income replacement. The policy also includes free access to 24/7 teleconsultation with a medical professional and a Longevity Health Fund that one can utilize for medical needs at age 76 onwards.
Health Care Access comes in two types: Health Care Access Prime and Health Care Access Lite.
Health Care Access Prime provides comprehensive coverage of up to P5,000,000 annually. It also offers inpatient and outpatient care, and emergency care treatment up to the Annual Benefit Limit (ABL). This also includes an Annual Physical Exam starting from seven basic tests. The Annual Physical Exam helps with early detection and prevention in case of the possible occurrence of any critical illnesses. Health Care Access Prime also offers life and accident insurance benefits of up to P500,000.
On the other hand, Health Care Access Lite caters to people with existing healthcare plans but need additional health protection. Health Care Access Lite also includes life and accident insurance up to P500,000, and it can be enhanced with outpatient care, optical care, or dental care benefit for a small additional premium.
Take charge of your health with AXA Health Care Access. For more information, visit https://www.axa.com.ph/health-protection/health-care-access.