Breast Cancer is caused when cells in the breast mutate, growing out of control. These mutated cells grow into mass of cells – either forming a lump that can be felt through the skin or as a tumour that can be seen on an X-ray. According to the most recent report from the Singapore Cancer Registry, between 2008 and 2012, breast cancer was the number one type of cancer among women in Singapore, and was also the cause of 18% of all female deaths by cancer.
There are many costs associated with care for cancer patients. What are some costs that can be expected on top of home care services and treatments?
Living with breast cancer can be financially destabilising for everyone at home. An average woman in Singapore earns $4,027 a month but cancer treatments, on average, can cost from $8,000 to $17,000 a month. The costs of care for breast cancer at home is a heavy burden on patients and their caregivers from the onset.
Other than the costs of surgery or chemotherapy, other costs include:
Upon starting cancer treatment, patients might be required to make several trips to hospitals. For example, Radiotherapy usually lasts for 6 weeks, for 5 days a week, and will comprise at least 30 sessions. Due to side effects such as fatigue or nausea, patients may refuse the discomfort of public transport for the convenience of the more expensive commuting choices like taxis.
After a lumpectomy or Mastectomy, most women might consider going for breast reconstruction once they have recovered from breast cancer. Breast reconstruction might be costly, but can be essential to your loved ones to feel themselves again after winning a battle with breast cancer.
After breast cancer surgery, patients might prefer to recuperate at home and would require help with surgery wound care at home such as changing of wound dressings or the removal of stitches. Home care medical procedure services are available in Singapore at Jaga-Me for such purposes.
After diagnosis, Breast Cancer patients can go through surgical or non-surgical procedures to treat their cancers.
Non-surgical procedures include radiotherapy which makes use of high-energy x-rays, gamma rays, electron beams or protons to kill or damage cancer cells. Alternatively, patients may need to undergo chemotherapy. This treatment uses chemical substances – most commonly as an infusion into the vein or in pill or capsule forms. Depending on whether the patient is at the early or late stages of her breast cancer, she will require several repeating cycles of chemotherapy increasing Breast Cancer costs.
The most common procedures include surgery. Lumpectomy (also known as breast-conserving surgery) is a surgical procedure to remove cancerous cell or abnormal tissues from the breast. The other common surgery is a Mastectomy. This procedure includes the removal of one or both breasts, partially or completely.
Additionally, the cost of treatment depends on a few factors like the type of cancer, the stage of cancer and the physical condition of the patient.
Not only are these procedures expensive, but there are also additional costs incurred by the patient post-surgery.
Read more on Breast Cancer: Post-Surgery Recovery
Breast cancer is expensive in Singapore, but there are ways to finance these costs.
There are available schemes – Medisave, Medishield Life, Medifund and ComCare – that aim to financially assist breast cancer patients that are in need.
However, the government initiatives may not be able to cover all costs related to Breast Cancer. As such, opting for Private Insurance schemes on top of what the government offers may be financially beneficial. That are three types of Private Medical Insurance to consider:
Singapore Cancer Society (SCS) offers cancer rehabilitation programmes. Alternatively, SCS has several financial and welfare schemes to help those in need. Successful candidates may receive temporary financial assistance, medical supplies and subsidies for approved drugs or treatments.
We provide professional cancer care for your loved ones – be it lung cancer, colon cancer or prostrate cancer home care. If your loved one needs frequent care, you can engage our services. If you need personalised caregiver training, you can simply ask our nurses! We will assess the condition of the patient and provide you with a personalised care plan on how to care for him or her.
Get in touch with Jaga-Me today to find out more about our home care services for breast cancer patients in Singapore.