Monday, November 9, 2020

The Passing of Alex Trebek

I think most of us can agree, 2020 has been a horrible year. And to make it worse has been a series of celebrity deaths to cancer. Neal Peart, Chadwick Boseman, Eddie Van Halen and, most recently, Alex Trebek, have all succumbed to various forms of the disease. Though it may have been a surprise to the public when it happened, it may have been expected for them, as they had been diagnosed long before.

Cancer rarely sneaks up on someone and kills them. People usually don't feel well, so they go to the doctor and get diagnosed. Boseman had been diagnosed four years before passing away in August. Neal Peart had known for two years he was ill and swore his close friends to secrecy. And Van Halen had been receiving treatments off and on for nearly 20 years.

Alex Trebek was a different story though. He went public with is diagnosis of pancreatic cancer in March of 2019. He remained on television throughout it all, looking healthy and maintaining his good grace. "Jeopardy" fans knew he was sick and sent good thoughts and prayers. I was one of them.

It's important to note that he taped his last episode on October 29. That was just a week or so before he passed away. (His final episode is scheduled to air on December 25). 

What does this tell us about cancer? For one thing, it can affect anyone, regardless of status. Cancer does not care if someone is a celebrity. However, when a famous person dies of cancer, it does bring the spotlight to the disease, even when there is a pandemic of Covid going on around us. 

We also know that there are different types of cancer. Van Halen's throat cancer was treated in a much different way than Boseman's colon cancer. As patients, they received treatments like surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, but in varying degrees and doses.

Also, people handle their diagnosis differently. Some prefer to keep their illness private, revealing it only to friends and family, while others feel comfortable going public. I can fully understand both sides of it, but when a celebrity goes public with an illness, cancer or anything else, it brings attention and awareness. This can translate to funding for research into cures and treatments. 

What can you do? First and foremost, ask your doctor about screening options. Depending on your age and family history, your doctor may suggest a screening of some type. Finding cancer early can increase your odds of surviving. 

Of course, you can also purchase some sort of cancer insurance. There are a lot of options to fit your needs and budget. All of them pay you, not the doctor or the hospital, so you can use the money as you need. 

We offer traditional cancer treatment plans, that pay you based on the treatments you receive. For instance, these plans pay benefits for an initial diagnosis, hospital confinement,  surgery, prosthetics and other treatments. These plans can pay out a fairly high amount of money but remember that cancer treatments can take months or years, and you'll need to stay on top of everything like receipts and travel mileage for out-of-pocket expenses.

There are also lump sum policies that will pay one lump sum of money. Many people prefer this method as the benefit is pre-determined at the time of the application and they don't have to worry about turning in receipts for months on end. And one of our carriers who offers the lump sum option also includes free genomic testing, which can assist your caregivers in developing a treatment plan.

We also offer a combo cancer/heart attack/stroke plan, for those who are concerned about these three health issues. 

If you would like information or a quote, go to our website and set a phone appointment that works for your schedule. In the meantime, stay healthy! 

Chris Castanes is the president of Surf Financial Brokers, helping people find affordable life and disability insurance coverage. He's also is a professional speaker helping sales people be more productive and efficient and has spoken to professional and civic organizations throughout the Southeast. And please subscribe to this blog! Thanks!

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