What Women Need to Know about Cancer

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Western Direct Insurance joins the fight against the four most prevalent cancers among women in Canada today: skin, colorectal, cervical and breast. With every car insurance or home insurance quote completed, Western Direct Insurance will donate $10 to the Canadian Cancer Society.

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<p><img src='https://www.westerndirect.ca/assets/Uploads/Infographics/WDIWomansCancerHealthQuote4Cures.jpg' alt='October is Women's Cancer Health Awareness Month' width='540px' border='0' />
What women need to know about Cancer – An infographic by the team at <a href='https://www.westerndirect.ca/learning-centre/insurance-news-and-advice/view/480-what-women-need-to-know-about-cancer'>Western Direct Insurance</a></p>

As far as cancer research has come, thanks to medical researchers and the generous donations of concerned citizens, the prevalence of the disease is still substantial.

  • Women in Canada have a 1 in 9 chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their lifetime.
  • Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in Canada, but also the world.
  • An estimated 10,800 Canadian women will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2014.
  • Contraction of the human papilloma virus (HPV) substantially raises a woman's risk of being diagnosed with cervical cancer.

As common as these cancers may be, though, the good news is that they're all highly treatable - provided you take the proper precautions.  These tips can help you protect yourself throughout your life.

  • Keep an eye on your skin. When you're looking in the mirror, take a look at any moles or blemishes that change in shape or grow over time, as this could be a sign of a malignancy. Also, look for patches of skin that swell, itch, are red or bumpy. Sores that don't heal may require further examination as well.
  • Colorectal cancer is a slow-growing cancer that often doesn't show any symptoms until it is too late to treat successfully. That's why women over the age of 50and at average risk of colorectal cancer should have the fecal immunochemical test (FIT) every two years to screen for the disease. Colorectal cancer is best treated in the early stages.
  • Depending on how sexually active you are, women should have a Pap test performed, ideally by the age of 21. Additional tests should be done every one to three years, depending on the screening guidelines in the province. When detected early, cervical cancer has an 80 percent survival rate.
  • Get screened for breast cancer. While no cancer screening test is perfect, mammograms are one of the most effective and accurate. That's why women approaching middle-age are highly recommended to get a mammogram. By the time you reach 40 through the age of 49, talk to your doctor during your annual physical about when the best time is. It's usually not until you reach the age of 50 that you should have one on a biennial basis.