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Empower Wealth Blog post by Empower Wealth

Myeloma Awareness: Protecting Your Finances in the Face of Health Challenges

In the news recently was the story regarding Sandy Roberts, a leading TV journalist, who was recently diagnosed with a rare cancer called Myeloma that he didn’t even know he had until he went into hospital to get checked after a fall. You can read all about Sandy below.

We certainly all wish him well in his treatment and recovery.

This story brings to light the need to review our personal insurance and defence strategy when embarking on the investment journey.

So what is Myeloma?

Myeloma is a type of blood cancer ( of the plasma cells that are made in the bone marrow. Because bone marrow is found throughout the body (e.g. in the spine, skull, shoulders, ribs and pelvis), myeloma can affect multiple areas at the same time, and the disease is often called multiple myeloma.

When myeloma cells are only found in one part of the body, this is called plasmacytoma. According to Australian government statistics, Myeloma is the 17th most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia and has a 51% chance of surviving at least 5 years.

How does myeloma develop?

Myeloma develops when plasma cells undergo a cancerous or malignant change and become myeloma cells.

These myeloma cells multiply without any proper order and form collections known as tumors that accumulate in different parts of the body, especially in the bone marrow and on the surfaces of different bones in the body. These tumors secrete chemicals that stimulate other bone marrow cells (osteoclasts) to remove calcium from the bone. As a result, bones can become weaker, more brittle and break more easily.

As myeloma cells multiply, they crowd the bone marrow and prevent it from making normal numbers of red cells and white cells (increasing one’s susceptibility to infections).

Myeloma cells can also interfere with the production of normal antibodies. Myeloma cells produce a type of immunoglobulin called paraprotein (also known as monoclonal immunoglobulin, myeloma protein, or simply M protein). Sometimes an excessive number of fragments of immunoglobulin known as light chains are produced. These light chains can be detected in the blood, and they also appear in the urine. Light chains detected in the urine are called Bence-Jones protein.

Who can get myeloma?

In Australia, about 2,600 Australians are diagnosed with myeloma each year. Myeloma accounts for about 13% of blood cancers and about 1% of all cancers.

It is most common in people aged over 60. Myeloma can still affect younger people, but it is quite rare in people aged under 40. There are slightly more men diagnosed with myeloma than there are women.

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Cancer, as we are well aware, remains an unpredictable force that can profoundly affect individuals and their families across multiple dimensions of life. In such times of uncertainty and vulnerability, the importance of having Trauma Insurance cover cannot be overstated. It stands as a crucial pillar of financial protection and peace of mind.

Trauma Insurance, also called ‘critical illness’ or ‘recovery insurance’, is designed to provide financial support when individuals are diagnosed with a specified critical illness, such as cancer. In the context of a cancer diagnosis, it becomes a lifeline, offering financial stability during what can be an emotionally and financially tumultuous period.

The significance of Trauma Insurance lies in its ability to alleviate the financial burden associated with medical treatments, hospital bills, and lifestyle adjustments that often accompany a cancer diagnosis. It provides a lump-sum payment upon diagnosis, which can be used to cover medical expenses, ongoing care, and even replace lost income if the individual is unable to work.

Moreover, Trauma Insurance ensures that individuals and their families can focus on recovery without the added stress of financial strain. It serves as a safety net, allowing individuals to access the best possible medical care and maintain their quality of life during a challenging journey.

If you don’t have an existing experienced and qualified Financial Planner in your team and would like to speak to one, we’d be happy to have a chat with you. Simply request a free initial consultation here and our team will be in touch to provide the guidance you need to navigate these important financial decisions.

At Empower Wealth, our commitment to our clients goes beyond financial planning; it extends to safeguarding their well-being. Therefore, our Financial Planning team continues to review our clients personal insurance/defence strategy so that if they don’t have Trauma cover, we can at least discuss the value of such cover (or to retain should they have it) and what it can provide. It’s an essential component of a comprehensive personal insurance/defence strategy that offers immense reassurance in times of need.

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