Research shows that lung cancer is the most common form of cancer among Emirati males, among whom 23 percent are smokers
11 November 2018| Last updated on 13 November 2018
November marks Lung Cancer Awareness Month
During which different organizations around the world join hands to promote awareness of lung cancer and to encourage early prevention, detection, and treatment.
However, awareness remains low on the dangers of smoking shisha, cigarettes, and medwakh, of which shisha is particularly dangerous but popular among Arab women since one serve already equals 15 cigarettes.
Moreover, a report even estimates that about 30,000 people a year will have lung cancer diagnosed in the Middle East by 2020, up from 16,596 in 2008.
Early detection is key since lung cancer is a type of cancer that can spread to the other parts of the body quickly after it first forms, often before it is even diagnosed.
Today, our partner Pacific Prime Dubai will take a closer look at your options for lung cancer therapy and insurance.
What exactly is lung cancer?
Caused mostly by cigarette smoking, lung cancer is a form of disease that results from the abnormal growth of cells in the lung linings.
Lung cancer doesn’t cause any signs or symptoms at its early stage. Only when the disease is advanced will symptoms start to manifest in the form of persistent cough, hoarseness of the voice, wheezing, chest pain, weight loss, and other respiratory problems.
Therefore, you should consult your doctor if you are a frequent smoker and suffer from any persistent signs listed above.
Breast cancer stages and treatments
Before we go into details of stages and treatments, it is important to understand the two main types of lung cancer, namely small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). SCLC almost always occurs in heavy smokers only, whereas NSCLC accounts for the majority of lung cancer.
The survival rates of stage 1 and 2 NSCLC are around 30-50%, whereas those of SCLC are even more aggressive, with a survival rate of only around 14-17% five years after diagnosis.
NSCLC is divided into four stages. As each stage progresses, the cancer spreads to the chest and eventually to other parts of the body.
As for SCLC, it is divided into two stages. In the limited stage, the cancer is only confined to the chest; and in the extensive stage, the cancer spreads to other parts of the body.
Which treatment plan is to be used largely depends on the stage of lung cancer, which typically involves surgery and chemotherapy. However, radiation treatment, targeted drug therapy, and immunotherapy may also be applied especially for those with advanced lung cancer.
Surgery is deemed as the most effective way of treating lung cancer since the only way to cure cancer is to remove the tumor cells entirely through surgery. However, it is only applicable to cancers that have not spread to other parts of the body. The scale of the surgery varies, from removing just a small section of the lung to removing an entire lung.
Chemotherapy involves using drugs to eliminate cancer cells, and is often used alone or in combination with radiation treatment to kill remaining cancer cells after surgery. Surgeons may administer one or more chemotherapy drugs through a vein in the arm or by mouth.
Radiation therapy uses high-powered energy beams from sources such as X-rays and protons to kill cancer cells. It is suitable for those who cannot undertake medical operations and can be used to kill any remaining cancer cells after surgery.
Targeted drug therapy
Targeted drug treatments work by blocking the specific abnormalities present within cancer cells. However, it can only be used in patients with certain genetic mutations.
Cancer insurance options in Dubai
The basic essential benefits plan has an annual cap of Dh150,000 and thus may not be enough to meet the rising treatment expenses of lung cancer. A recent news report, for instance, has pointed out that an annual course of chemotherapy can cost up to Dh380,000, not to mention other forms of treatment and fees charged at private hospitals.Therefore, you might be left with no other options but to bear the cost out of pocket.
While naturally, you can select insurance plans with a higher minimum coverage limit, our partner Pacific Prime Dubai suggests considering international medical insurance (IPMI), which covers your medical costs in virtually any country on the planet (although some plans may exclude the U.S. due to its exorbitant medical fees). That way, you can pursue cancer treatments outside of Dubai to save more money or even select your preferred doctor/medical facility.
Seek advice from a leading insurance brokerage
You may be spoilt for choice when it comes to selecting the right insurance product, especially in the face of the obscene terms and conditions. Luckily, the services of an established insurance brokerage such as Pacific Prime Dubai can aid you with this cumbersome process.
With the goal of simplifying insurance, they are well versed in matching clients with the most suitable insurance policies and will leverage their long term relationships with insurers to fight for the best prices and terms for you.