“You’ve got cancer.”Fear is evoked in many of us just by the mere thought of that phrase.

The initial reaction to a diagnosis is often fear followed by intense desire for treatment. Patients who rush to get treatment instead of seeking a second or third opinion often miss out on treatments that may be better for them and their lifestyle.

“After learning they have cancer, many patients are afraid to wait even a few days to start treatment for fear that any delay will prevent a cure. But studies have shown that taking a little time to learn about all of the available treatment options can give patients a better opportunity to make a well-informed choice,”Dr. K. Kian Ang at M.D., a radiation surgeon. Anderson Cancer Center Houston

Published in the journal “Cancer”Half of all breast cancer patients that sought a second opinion from a multidisciplinary board at their center in 2006 received a change to their treatment plan.

A tumor board is a group composed of doctors who review a patient’s medical records in order to determine the best treatment. A tumor board usually includes several specialists in cancer, such as a radiation oncologist or medical oncologist, along with a surgeon and pathologist.

According to the study, patients are often presented with options that do not include new techniques. In addition, doctors often review patients’ imaging scans once more during the second opinion. This can lead to a change in the treatment plan.

Ang is a member of the American Society of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology’s board of directors. He encourages patients with breast cancer to consult with multiple specialists before settling on a treatment plan.

ASTRO created a website to assist patients in finding a specialist. “Doctor Finder”web site. www.rtanswers.org. Patients can search the site to find a radiation oncologist in their area based on their location, primary languages spoken, and specialty. The National Cancer Institute’s website also offers resources. www.cancer.gov.

The pace of life today is rapid. The rise of digital technology has allowed people to communicate with each other via the internet and simultaneously check their children’s soccer scores. Consumers can expect the same conveniences and benefits from all businesses, including their insurance companies, thanks to the internet age. Although 98 per cent of insurance claims are processed within 30 working days, it can be frustrating for those who have difficulty paying their medical bills.

It is no longer enough to be insured, as nearly two-thirds of American households have less income than 2002. It is important to find out how fast and easy your insurance company processes and pays claims. This is important for both financial and medical recovery.

Recent research found that 66% would not be able to adjust to the high financial cost of serious illnesses or injuries. Only 49% have enough money to cover out-of pocket expenses. Additionally, rising healthcare costs have forced employers to take cost-saving measures that are putting employees under greater financial pressure.

* Increasing employees’ health care insurance copayments.

* Increasing employees’ share of premium.

* Implementing high-deductible health plans with health savings accounts.

Some people might have to wait as long as a month to receive their insurance payments. Many insurance companies strive to provide fast service with better technology and better understanding of customers’ needs. This is just one example. AflacIn the insurance industry, it is rare to find policies that allow for claims approval, processing, and payment within one day.

In the past, fast payment policies were a luxury. It is a necessity in today’s world. It is more important than ever that you have money available immediately for serious injuries or illnesses. Your insurance company should be able to respond quickly.

Aflac’s One Day Pay guarantee can be found on aflac.com/onedaypay.