While there are many anti-ageing beauty products saturating the market and hogging the consumer spotlight, there's unfortunately less awareness and attention given to overall female health concerns.
Caring about health is part and parcel of #adulting and many of the people we see on social media above the age of 25 are already complaining of mysterious aches, pains and sudden lack of ability to party all night and still make it fresh-faced into the office the next day.
If that's you, it's time to look into living a healthier lifestyle and to check if your insurance provider gives comprehensive coverage – especially for common women's diseases. This is particularly important if your family has a history of certain illnesses or if you have a pre-existing condition which makes you prone to developing certain diseases later on in life.
Common illnesses and top cause of death
According to a 2019 report, the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women in Singapore is breast cancer, followed by colorectal (colon and rectum) cancer and lung cancer. Interestingly, lung and colorectal cancers are also among the top three cancer illnesses for males in Singapore – which suggests that personal habits and urban living could be more to blame rather than genetics when it comes to health issues.
Uterine cancer, lymphoid neoplasm and ovarian cancer make up the fourth, fifth and sixth most commonly diagnosed cancers, while stomach and cervical cancer come in ninth and tenth respectively on the list of top cancers for Singapore women1.
But what most don't know is that the top cause of death for women in Singapore is not breast cancer but cardiovascular disease2. This illness is associated with an accumulation of fatty deposits in the arteries and an increased risk of blood clots. Younger women aged between 21 and 34 years old tend to believe they're not at risk, but this is not true. According to Dr Goh Ping Ping, the medical director for the Singapore Heart Foundation, anyone of any age is susceptible to getting a heart attack3.
The key to fighting this is early prevention in the form of regular exercise and keeping to a healthy diet. Of course it also helps to have health and critical illness insurance coverage that would support the necessary treatment and therapy needed without the patient having to pay out of her savings.
What you can do
Start with living the healthiest life that you can by cutting out any unhealthy habits (such as smoking and bad diets) and replace them with more wholesome alternatives.
If you don't already go for an annual medical check-up, book your appointment soon. It's important to note that early intervention is key to recovery or successful treatment, when it comes to the diseases mentioned.
Finally, just to ensure that all bases are covered, get yourself a good critical illness insurance plan which protects you from multiple critical illnesses or relapses such as Singlife Multipay Critical Illness. Unlike most critical illness plans which tend to terminate coverage after you make a claim, this plan allows multiple claims on early, intermediate and severe stage critical illnesses. It also covers the recurrence of 6 specified critical illnesses, such as re-diagnosed major cancer, recurrent heart attack of specified severity and recurrent stroke with permanent neurological deficit. The plan allows you to claim up to a total of 900% of the sum assured for critical illnesses.
Alternatively, you can consider adding a critical illness rider to your life insurance plan which most insurers offer. For example, Singlife’s MultiPay Critical Illness Cover IV and Early Critical Illness Advance Cover IV* are riders that can be added on to a Singlife life insurance plan. On top of covering early to severe stages of critical illnesses, these two critical illness riders as well as Singlife Multipay Critical Illness ^ also provide additional benefits such as a Special Benefit which covers specified conditions like mastectomy and hysterectomy due to cancer, Benign and Borderline Malignant Tumour Benefit and Intensive Care Benefit.
*MultiPay Critical Illness Cover IV is attachable to Singlife Elite Term and Early Critical Illness Advance Cover IV is attachable to Singlife Whole Life.
^ Policy Terms and Conditions apply. Please refer to the Product Brochure for more information.
1. Source: National Registry of Diseases Office, “Singapore Cancer Registry Annual Report 2019”, published 28 January 2022.
2. Source: The Straits Times© Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Extracted with permission. “Cardiovascular disease the leading cause of death for women in Singapore last year”, 4 October 2020.
3. Source: The Straits Times© Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Extracted with permission. "Awareness of heart disease low among Singaporean women: Survey", 26 June 2016.
Updated on: November 2020