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A report by the National Cancer Registry Ireland has highlighted the severe financial implications of cancer on Irish families. The key areas of concern for cancer sufferers include:

• Increased medical costs such as consultant fees and expensive medications.

• Actual out of pocket expenses such as increased travel to appointments in medical centres of excellence located a distance away from home.

• Reduction in earnings due to patients (and their family members) having to take time off work. This is particularly relevant to those that are self employed.

And with the report stating that one in three men and one in four women will suffer from cancer at some stage in their lifetime, unfortunately cancer is a reality for a vast number of people. While many of us fear the medical effects of cancer, the financial implications are often ignored.

The report highlighted the increased financial strain experienced by many households where someone has been diagnosed with cancer. Sadly this increased financial strain is also associated with greater likelihood of experiencing depression, anxiety or emotional stress.

So, whilst many of us have life insurance to financially protect our families in the event of death, too few have sufficient ‘survival insurance’ in place. Thankfully cancer recovery rates are increasing; 42% of men and 50% of women diagnosed with cancer currently survive for five years or longer; all the more reason to have some financial protection in place.

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