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Are You Prepared to Deal with a Cancer Diagnosis?

Are You Prepared to Deal with a Cancer Diagnosis?
November 28, 2022


Cancer is one of the most dreaded diseases in the modern world. We’ve all heard of it and know of people who struggle with recovery after rounds of chemotherapy. India records nearly 1.1 million cases of cancer annually1. Every year, Indians commemorate Cancer Awareness Day on 7th November, hoping to bring attention to the prevention and early detection of the disease. Let’s look at India’s cancer burden and how we can lessen it.

Cancer in India

The Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) records seven cancers that account for 40% of all cases in the country. They are lung, breast, oesophagus, mouth, stomach, liver, and cervical cancer2. Despite recording 7.7 lakh deaths due to cancer in 20203, only 43% of Indians reported some concern about developing cancer in their lifetime4. Although screen tests and vaccines are available, people across India seem reluctant to get screened despite moderate awareness levels.

Screening and Diagnosing Cancer in India

India’s penetration for screening of key cancers remains low at less than 5%4. Cancer screening might get hindered due to the large population, lack of infrastructure across the country, and deficiencies in training methods. Early detection provides patients with the best chance of survival. Unfortunately, the high cost of medical tests and treatments often means that symptoms go undetected, and most Indians only get diagnosed in the last stage. The WHO reports that 70% of cancer deaths come from low- and middle-income countries, showing that screening and early detection could significantly decrease the mortality rate5.

Preventing Cancer

While medical professionals do not always have an answer to what causes cancer, we can prevent around 30-50% of cancer cases with a healthier lifestyle5. The WHO recommends avoiding tobacco, eating a healthy diet, being physically active and getting regular medical care as the best ways to prevent cancer.

Dealing with the Big C

A cancer diagnosis can wreak havoc on your life. After understanding your options, you could opt for treatment, which can cost anywhere between INR 1 lakh to INR 25 lakhs. The cost depends on the type of cancer and where you choose to get treated. Diagnostic tests can cost between INR 15,000 to INR 40,000, while care in the hospital for a single day could range between INR 10,000 to INR 25,0006. Bearing these costs out of pocket could put a significant dent in your wallet.

Given the high incidence of cancer in the country, it’s always best to financially prepare yourself and your loved ones for such a situation. Having a term plan or a health plan could alleviate some financial struggles after a difficult diagnosis. You can opt for a critical care rider with your term plan. The add-on provides a lump sum payout if you get diagnosed with a covered critical illness, including many types of cancer. The plan provides your loved ones with a pay-out if you succumb to the disease, ensuring they don’t have to worry about their finances at a difficult time.

Consider getting a plan like HDFC Life’s Cancer Care for enhanced protection. The policy helps you financially prepare for a cancer diagnosis, ensuring you don’t have to worry about getting the funds together to pay for your treatment.

When it comes to cancer, prevention and early detection are always better than the cure. Make sure you look after your health and undergo regular screenings to detect potential cancers as soon as possible.


1 https://newsonair.gov.in/News?title=National-Cancer-Awareness-Day-is-being-observed-today&id=450513#:~:text=In%20India%2C%20nearly%201.1%20million,prize%2Dwinning%20scientist%20Madame%20Curie

2 https://www.livemint.com/science/health/indias-cancer-burden-to-rise-to-29-8-million-in-2025-icmr-report-11652382169284.html

3 https://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2022/jul/19/cancer-cases-deaths-steadily-increasing-in-the-country-centre-2478349.html

4 https://www.ey.com/en_in/health/how-india-can-reduce-its-cancer-burden

5 https://www.who.int/news-room/facts-in-pictures/detail/cancer

6 https://www.practo.com/health-wiki/cancer-treatment-india/289/article#:~:text=The%20average%20cost%20of%20Cancer,27%2C50%2C000


HDFC Life Cancer Care (UIN: 101N106V04) is a Non-Linked, Non-Participating Protection Plan. Life Insurance Coverage is available in this product. For more details on risk factors, associated terms and conditions and exclusions, please read sales brochure carefully before concluding a sale.

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ARN: ED/11/22/30281