The American Cancer Society estimates that in the United States one out of two men and one of three women will develop some form of cancer during their lifetimes. The good news is that 66 percent of those diagnosed with cancer will live for five years or more if they are treated early and have targeted treatments.

“It’s important to know what is reasonable to ask of your doctors, employers and insurers because the odds are that you or a loved one will develop cancer at some point,”Louis B. Harrison is a radiation oncologist at Continuum Cancer Centers in New York and past chairman for the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology.

What are you supposed to be asking? Patients, their family members and friends need to know what their rights are – rights that can make a big difference in the course of and after treatment for cancer. Take a look at the following:

1. You have the right ask questions. It is important to choose the right cancer treatment. Ask as many questions you can until you feel comfortable. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of doctors.

2. It is your right to find out if a treatment is likely. Although doctors can’t predict the outcome of a treatment, they do have the ability to give you a general idea. Doctors do have access to the most recent research, and they should be able tell you if a treatment is effective for your particular type of cancer. Be aware of unproven treatments.

3. You have the right of information about side effects. These side effects should be considered when you decide which treatment is best for you. Do not believe anyone who claims that a treatment is safe.

4. You have the right of a second opinion as well as a third or fourth opinion. Your cancer treatment decisions are yours. You are responsible for your cancer treatments. Get recommendations from several experts, such as a surgeon and a radiation oncologist, who specialize in radiation therapy. Ask to have your case reviewed by a patient care conference in your hospital.

5. Your right to understand the medical leave you are taking is yours. As you plan your trip, make sure to talk to your employer about their policies regarding medical leave and disability. Get it in writing if possible.

6. You have the right to know your costs. Treatments can be very expensive, regardless of whether you have Medicare or insurance. Before treatment begins, talk to your doctor and your insurance provider about your costs. This will help you plan for the future. Visit this site to download free brochures about cancer treatments. www.rtanswers.orgOr call 1-800-962-7876

The pace of life today is rapid. People can check their kids’ soccer scores on the phone, while also sending emails to work with the help of digital technology. Consumers can expect the same conveniences and benefits from all businesses, except 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.

Being insured is not enough, especially with nearly two-thirds American households earning less than 2002. It is vital to understand how quickly and efficiently your insurance carrier pays claims. This is critical for both financial recovery and physical 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. Employers are being forced to take cost-saving measures due to rising health care costs, which is putting even more financial pressure on employees.

* Increasing employees’ health care insurance copayments.

* Increasing employees’ share of premium.

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

A lot of people will have to wait for up to a few months before receiving their insurance payments. Many insurance companies strive to provide fast service with better technology and better understanding of customers’ needs. This is 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 viewed as a luxury. It’s a necessity. It is more important than ever that you have money available immediately for serious injuries or illnesses. You should ensure that your insurance company can move at your pace.

Aflac’s One Day Pay guarantee can be found on