These are the most treated types of cancer in South Africa

The number of Discovery Health Medical Scheme (DHMS) claiming for cancer treatment has almost doubled since 2010.

This was one of the major findings in a new DHMS report that looked at claims related trends from October 2017 to September 2018.

Discovery has 2.8 million members, which represents 31% of the total medical scheme population and 56% of the open scheme population.

36,783 of these members actively claimed for oncology treatment in the past 12 months, with the scheme paying out R3.4 billion over this time period.

“The number of members receiving treatment for cancer has increased by 99% since 2010, while the membership of the Scheme has only increased by 24%,” Discovery said.

“This indicates a combination of increasing incidence of cancer as well as anti-selection.”

Discovery said that breast cancer is the most common cancer for the period with 12,148 members claiming for treatment.

Prostate cancer has seen the greatest increase in claimants (9.6%) from the previous period.

Central Nervous System cancer was the most expensive to treat over the period, with a cost of R42,279 per member per month.


The below illustrates the top 10 highest individual member claims for cancer treatment and highlights that members of various ages can require oncology treatment.

The most expensive treatment was for a 49-year-old member with Leukaemia who claimed R3.7 million for treatment.

Leukaemia features prominently on the list with seven of the ten most expensive claims being for this type of cancer over the reporting period.


Read: Discovery has seen a big jump in these types of medical claims over the last year

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These are the most treated types of cancer in South Africa