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Tough. That’s probably the word that best describes South African men, isn’t it?

It’s not just our size that makes us tough, is it?

South African guys are resilient, and that resilience is largely born out of struggle. Life in South Africa isn’t easy and that’s what really stiffens our resolve. There is only one problem with “tough guys” – many of us think we are completely bullet-proof!

The Boks are arguably the toughest bunch of guys on the planet right now, but even the toughest guys in the world could fall prey to an elusive opponent that doesn’t play fair and strikes without warning!

And it’s not who the opponent is, it’s what the opponent is. Prostate Cancer.

Let’s start at the basics. Hands up to everyone that’s gone to a medical practitioner not because something is wrong, but just for a regular check-up? I bet you, not many hands went up.

So, what is it about guys in general and getting checked out by a medical practitioner on a regular basis?

Ego mainly, and sometimes ignorance

Tough guys don’t need to see a medical practitioner. That would indicate weakness and vulnerability, right? And which guy friend of yours has ever shared a beer with you and encouraged you to go for a prostate check. It just doesn’t happen.

So, why are we talking about this now? Well, it’s Movember and that means Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Let’s have a look at prostate cancer statistics for a moment:

  • 2nd highest common cancer in men
  • 1 in 6 males will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime
  • 4th most common cause of death amongst men
  • 3 million new diagnoses in 2018
  • Age, diet and genetics contribute to your risk of getting prostate cancer.

(source: World Cancer Research Fund)

Quite sobering isn’t? We don’t talk about it; we play ignorant and then one guy in our indoor soccer side falls victim. We recently picked up on some Old Mutual severe illness claim stats for 2018.

In 2018 alone Old Mutual paid out a staggering R752 million in severe illness claims.32% of all cancer claims from males on Severe Illness cover were for Prostate cancer.

What can we do about it?

Not much except try and live a balanced life, control our diet, and really dial down the stress and anxiety levels that seem to be part and parcel of a life in the 21st century.

Get checked out annually by a medical practitioner.

There is a wise saying that goes: “Plan for the best and prepare for the worst.”

1 in 6 is a real probability. We aren’t talking about 1 in 6 000.

If you are married with a couple of kids and have a mortgage hanging over your head, you probably have life cover in place. It’s the responsible thing to do and at some point, we all grow up and realize we simply need a product like this.

But very few of us ever add severe illness or disability cover to our risk cover portfolios.

There are four main reasons why we don’t do it:

  • We don’t believe it will ever happen to us
  • We don’t understand the cost implications of having a severe illness like cancer or
  • We don’t really understand the products and what they cover
  • We think we’re too young and healthy for severe illness cover.

We’ve covered the “it’s never going to happen to me” already in this post. It might very well happen to you, bud.

So, what expenses can one incur?

  1. Diagnosis – this includes a prostate specific antigen test as well as doctor consultations
  2. Treatment – radiation, chemotherapy and travelling expenses to the treatment centre
  3. Recovery – counselling, unpaid time off work, hiring a helper, alternative treatment
  4. Lifestyle adjustment – dietary changes, physiotherapy and other unforeseen expenses

Now, let’s move on to why you should take out severe illness cover.

This is what you need to know about severe illness cover:

  • The policy pays out a tax-free lump sum of money when you are diagnosed with a severe illness
  • Depending on your choice of plan, the cover is wide ranging – 84 severe illnesses, 16 mild illnesses, 9 early diagnosed illnesses (of which 7 are early cancers) and 29 child severe illnesses are covered
  • Depending on your choice of plan, you can also claim more than once for unrelated illnesses with no reduction in the cover amount after a claim. This means you can claim for cancer now and for a heart attack in the future and you will receive 100% of your cover amount in each instance.

The thing about life, which is a certainty, is that nothing is certain!

Last week you enjoyed a few beers with family and friends and felt on top of the world as our “tough team” took home the biggest prize in rugby. Next week, you might find a lump and in a month from now your world might be turned upside down.

If you would like to find out more about how you can protect yourself and the financial security of your loved ones with Severe Illness Cover from Old Mutual, simply submit your details below.

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