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Listen: Cancelling out cancer

Sep 5, 2022

In this third podcast of our four-part series “Life behind the numbers”, in partnership with Discovery Life, we look at the importance of protecting ourselves against the risk of cancer.

Cancer can affect anyone, at any age. The number of insurance claims due to cancer is rising, especially among younger people.

Discovery Life’s data shows that nearly half of severe illness claims and disability claims came from policyholders 50 years and younger.

Women have always been affected by cancer, but this year was the first year where Discovery saw these claims by women topping those by men.

For women, breast cancer remains the biggest health risk, accounting for 47% of all cancer claims, with the highest prevalence being among women between the ages of 30 and 60.

For men, prostate cancer makes up 23% of all cancer claims. Claims increase with age, highlighting the need to go for preventative screening from the age of 50.

Covering the costs of cancer

With treatment costing anywhere between R10 000 and R1 million, we all need to seriously think about how we can minimise the risk of contracting cancer. At the same time, we need to be aware that anyone can be affected by this disease, so we all need to protect ourselves financially in case we do contract the disease.

Cancelling out cancerIn this podcast we chat about these issues with Discovery Life’s Head of Market Analytics and R&D, Kashmeera Kanji, and Chief Medical Officer, Dr Maritha van der Walt.

We analyse what the claims data is telling us. We highlight the importance of early detection and what preventative screening you should be doing at what age.

We discuss how you can ensure you are covered for the costs of cancer, and explain why taking out severe illness cover while you are still young can save you money, even though you may think you don’t need it at that age.


  1. My husband died of cancer 2 months ago
    The R200000 allowed on our policy with Discovery was used up for unnecessary procedures by the Doctors, therapists and hospital WITHIN 1 month
    Discovery has no oversight and patients and their families are not consulted for efficacy of treatments for a Stage 4 (terminal) patient
    I wish someone from Discovery would contact me about this as the people answering the phone cannot help
    Discovery could save so many costs


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Maya Fisher-French author of Money Questions Answered


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