According to Worldwide Breast Cancer, in 2010 nearly 1.5 million people worldwide heard their physician breaking the news “you’ve got breast cancer”. This aggressive type of cancer is the most common among women in the UK and US and they have among the highest incidence rates worldwide as seen in the data below.


The most common figures say that 1 in 8 women might develop cancer in their lifetime. Sourcing the American Cancer Society Breast Cancer Facts & Figures the age group 60 to 69 are the ones most at risk while women between 20-29 see their chances of encountering breast cancer fall to a rate of 1 in 2,000.

The Breast Cancer Hong Kong Facts Report of 2012 also gathered a similar rising trend among the population with these key findings:

·      Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among Hong Kong women.
·      Hong Kong tops other Asian countries in terms of rates of breast cancer.
·      82% of patients do not have family history of breast cancer.
·      Compared to higher-income districts, the proportion of advanced stage breast cancer is higher in low-income districts.
·      Breast cancer examinations in Hong Kong are not popular with only 15.9% conducting self examinations and 11.2% taking mammograms.

The estimates of lifetime per-patient costs of breast cancer ranges from HK$155,000 to HK$775,800 and a study from an international insurance provider with an office in Hong Kong stated that patients only expected 40% cover of expenses from their policy.

Relating these costs to expats who are currently in Hong Kong and seeking medical treatment, there should be an awareness of what to expect in terms of expenses and facilities.

Find a health insurance plan that can cover ALL breast cancer treatment expenses.  Some may cover more than others but there are policies that cater specifically to breast cancer patient needs. It is also important to find out how much of the cost of your treatment you will need to pay yourself so that you can plan ahead. We always advise clients they should make plans for the worst in such circumstances.

Ask questions about your policy. Find out if your provider has an “in-network” or “out-network” of doctors and facilities.  The former means they have a list of physicians and hospitals they can recommend that are within your policy’s coverage.

Does your policy cover office visits, blood tests, radiology exams, surgery, chemotherapy, etc.? How much of each is covered? Are there co-payments or deductibles? Are clinical trials covered as well? What about second and third opinions?

By listing down these details you will be more equipped in planning out the things you already have and the ones you still need to arrange.

Village Insurance Direct presents your best options based on your budget and your current status. Talk to our agents.  We’re here to simplify your health insurance needs.

Feel free to connect with Mark Bromhead on Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter