Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast-cancer-web[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates about one in eight women in the U.S. will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime. Additionally, about 231,840 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women this year. The most significant risk factors for breast cancer are gender and age.

An updated breast cancer screening guideline from the ACS recommends that:

• All women should become familiar with the potential benefits, limitations and harms associated with breast cancer screening.
• Women with an average risk of breast cancer should undergo regular screening mammography starting at age 45.
• Women who are 45 to 54 years old should be screened annually (with a qualified recommendation).
• Women who are 55 and older should transition to biennial screening or have the opportunity to continue screening annually (with a qualified recommendation).
• Women should have the opportunity to begin annual screening between the ages of 40 and 44 (qualified recommendation).
• Women should continue screening as long as their overall health is good and they have a life expectancy of 10 years or more (qualified recommendation).
• The ACS does not recommend clinical breast examination for breast cancer screening among average-risk women at any age (qualified recommendation).

For Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a team of employees from Glenview-based Combined Insurance raised money for the 2015 “Strides Against Breast Cancer” walk in Chicago on Oct. 24, with the company ranking in the top five companies leading the way in donations for this event.

“Breast cancer diagnosis, treatments and post-treatment therapies can be lengthy and costly. This is why we want to remind women that choosing the right supplemental insurance plan can help cover out-of-pocket costs and provide peace of mind when they need it most,” said Jan Martin, vice president of Product Innovation for Combined Insurance.

Martin recommends looking for:

• An insurance company with an established history, financial stability and a high rating by insurance industry rating organizations.
• A flexible plan that can be tailored to the needs of an individual or family.
• A plan with guaranteed renewability for the principal insured’s lifetime.
• A plan that provides for benefit payments to be made directly to the insured or insured’s designee.
• No reduction in benefits, regardless of the insured’s age or number of claims previously paid.

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