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Cancer and Insurance in Shanghai: A Pre-Existing Condition?

People around the world have to worry about cancer regularly. As the population of China becomes more affluent, lifestyles are becoming more sedentary and people are living longer, which means cancer is a disease that is becoming more prevalent, especially in Shanghai. Here, Pacific Prime reviews cancer in Shanghai and how best to protect yourself from it.

Posted on Jun 08, 2015 by Travis Jones

Cancer in Shanghai – a background

Shanghai residents who pay attention to the news have no doubt heard that their city has the highest cancer incidence in all of China. Doctors say there are over 50,000 new cancer patients each year and that the city sees a yearly mortality rate around 30,000. Both men and women suffer most frequently from lung, liver and colorectal cancers, and each gender is also affected by prostate and breast cancer respectively.

Although we don’t know exactly why cancer has been increasing across China and in Shanghai in particular, experts say there are a few factors that could explain recent growths in disease incidence. Firstly, there’s the air pollution. As China’s industrial prowess has increased, citizens are more at risk of breathing in carcinogenic fumes. The recent increases in cancer may also be due to economic developments changing traditional lifestyles – leading to less exercise and more fast food, both of which have an effect on overall health and cancer risk. Some Shanghai residents are also concerned that poor standards in food and water quality are also leading to cases of cancer, especially following incidents such as the contamination of the Huangpu River by thousands of dead pigs in 2013.

Cancer treatment and services in Shanghai

Health care in Shanghai is more advanced and modern than nearly any other place in China, and the same holds true for cancer care. Patients – at least, those willing to pay – will find first-rate physicians and facilities, including the new Shanghai Proton and Heavy Ion Centre, offering a cancer treatment that some call the world’s most advanced form of radiotherapy.

Patients can find traditional radiology and chemotherapy treatment at public and private hospitals around the city. Those who can afford it normally choose a private facility – in which they can book appointments ahead of time, choose from internationally-trained doctors and enjoy a more private experience during cancer treatments. Cancer care can be a complicated process, but private facilities in Shanghai that specialize in oncological services can help organize a patient’s appointments and medication, taking away the added stress of planning the right cancer treatment regimen.

Shanghai also offers Traditional Chinese Medical practitioners who can work in conjunction with a physician to reduce the pain of cancer or chemotherapy and aid the treatment process. Many patients report a reduction in nausea and pain following acupuncture, herbal remedies or traditional Chinese massage.  

Is cancer treatment covered by insurance?

Patients who prefer to visit a private hospital for their cancer care will need to hold a personal or employer-sponsored health insurance policy. With that said, some insurance policies do consider cancer a pre-existing condition and may refuse to cover cancer diagnosis, care and treatment.

Pacific Prime believes in the importance of cancer coverage, which is why we work with our insurance partners to provide insurance for cancer-related care, without pre-existing condition exclusions. This allows patients to access the right care at the right time, for a price that’s affordable. Additionally, the International Health Insurance plans offered by Pacific Prime will provide benefits no matter where treatment is received, so you can even travel outside of China for therapy if you choose to.

For more information on these plans, contact the experts at Pacific Prime in Shanghai. They are ready, willing and able to answer all your health insurance related questions, as well as provide free quotations and plan comparisons. 

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