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How much is your health worth?

Let’s be honest, though: according to a publication by the National Cancer Registry, almost 1.5 million Poles died from cancer in the last 15 years.  This population is equal to the total of populations of Cracow and Łódź. It is as if these two cities had disappeared from the map of Poland within 15 years, emphasize the authors of the publication.
Cancer at an ever younger age         
In Poland, the number of people diagnosed with malignant tumor more than doubled in the last three decades, reaching in 2016 over 180,300 patients. In the light of the latest medical statistics, our confidence that we will be the lucky ones and that neither we nor our family or friends will suffer from cancer seems quite optimistic. Last year, almost 65 thousand cases of respiratory system and chest tumor alone were registered in Poland. It affects not only the elderly. We can observe a rising number of patients under 35, particularly female. Since 2000, the number of new patients in this age group increased in Poland from 4,000 to 5,000 (up by 22%).
Individual financing of cancer treatment is impossible. A five-year-long herceptin treatment costs PLN 759 thousand.

Individual financing of cancer treatment is impossible. A five-year-long herceptin treatment costs PLN 759 thousand.

With the current prices of medications, treatments and equipment, you will not be able to cover these costs yourself.  It is good to consider taking out an insurance policy, which will cover substantial costs of treatment in case of a positive diagnosis.

Cost of treatments
Individual financing of cancer treatment is impossible, as we learned about two years ago. It is then that Kora Jackowska, an icon of Polish rock music, revealed she had cancer and could not afford to finance her treatment on her own. A monthly dose of the medication she had to take costs PLN 24,000. “I should take it for the rest of my life,” said Kora.

This price is nothing extraordinary. For example, a five-year-long herceptin treatment costs PLN 759 thousand. It is used in disseminated breast cancer. Another example concerns a vial of ipilimumab, which is used to treat non-operative melanoma – a full treatment costs PLN 380 thousand. In oncology, not only medications are extremely expensive. Without the financing from the National Health Fund (NFZ) or an additional medical insurance covering costs of cancer treatment, one would have to pay a fortune for treatments and surgeries.

Why is it all so expensive? Medications cost so much as the development of just one drug requires an investment of at least several hundred million dollars. It takes years to develop and test them, which has to be done in several to twenty sites by many teams of investigators. The procedure of obtaining a relevant marketing authorization is also very expensive.

Better safe than sorry
You need to allow a possibility that you might have to face a challenge of undergoing a cancer treatment at some point in your life. First of all, remember about prevention – perform self-examinations and check and control your body – so that you can act early and do not have to worry about your health. It is also important to bear in mind that, with the current prices of medications, treatments and equipment, you will not be able to cover these costs yourself, and relying only on NFZ may prove insufficient.   It is good to consider taking out an insurance policy, which will cover substantial costs of treatment in case of a positive diagnosis. Thanks to this solution, we will no longer have to worry about finances and, consequently, about the financial stability – our own and of our beloved ones.
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