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Expatriate Healthcare update the news everyday on their website. Here's a round up of the top stories in December 2010...

Monthly round-up: December 2010

Individuals around the world who are considering relocating abroad have been offered a host of health, financial and social advice in the final month of 2010, with certain charities calling for faster diagnoses of medical problems and a number of experts pointing out the benefits of investing in foreign property.

Meanwhile, research by ECA International revealed that China and Singapore are among the top five countries in the world for expatriate assignments and an industry figure noted that the economic situation in Spain is set to lead to cheaper property prices in the country.

Here are a few other stories that have featured advice for expatriate insurance policyholders this month:

Cancer survival rates 'can be improved with faster diagnosis'

The survival rate for people with cancer could be improved if diagnoses were sped up, global health insurance policyholders may be interested to hear. This is the view of Andrew Wilson-Webb, chief executive of the Rarer Cancers Forum, who noted that improvements can be made at the first step of the medical treatment process.

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Older people 'need help checking for skin cancer'

Older expatriate medical insurance customers might need help with the earlier detection of skin cancers, the British Skin Foundation has suggested. Bevis Man, spokesman for the organisation, commented: "It's worth considering that the over-65s simply might not be able to check themselves physically or have access to someone that can help. Regardless of age however, we all still have a way to go yet in terms of cementing both the sun safety and early detection messages into the public consciousness."

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Build up strength before skiing

Expatriate health insurance policyholders who are escaping to the ski slopes this winter have been urged to improve their fitness before embarking on any extreme sports holidays. According to Steve Halsall, a celebrity fitness trainer, building up strength through core exercises will be beneficial to those about to hit the slopes.

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Purple berries may help combat Alzheimer's

Expatriate health insurance policyholders can help ward off dementia by eating purple fruits, according to a new study. Scientists at the University of Manchester found that fruits such as blueberries play a role in tackling Alzheimer's and a range of other diseases, including Parkinson's and Multiple Sclerosis.

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Expats urged not to scrap insurance

Expatriates are being urged not to "take a gamble" and scrap their expat health insurance in a bid to save money. In an article for the Telegraph newspaper, journalist Peter Pallot said it can be tempting to reduce levels of cover for illness or injury in tough economic times.

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Spain 'offers abundance of cheap properties'

Expatriate medical insurance policyholders are likely to be able to find cheap property in Spain as the number of repossessed homes in the country continues to grow. "In Spain you have got an abundance of repossessed properties that the banks are now forced to get rid of," explained Les Calvert, director at Property-Abroad.com.

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China and Singapore in top five expat countries

China and Singapore have emerged as two of the best countries in the world for expatriate corporate assignments, research has revealed. The US and UK ranked first and second place in the latest survey by worldwide human resources consultant ECA International, ChannelNewsAsia.com reports.

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Eating more fruit 'could save lives'

Expatriate medical insurance policyholders who eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day are less likely to die prematurely. Research published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health found that in the UK, some 33,000 deaths each year could be prevented or delayed if individuals eat more fresh produce and cut salt and fat consumption to recommended levels.

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Advice for plastic surgery patients

Expatriate medical insurance customers who are thinking of electing for cosmetic surgery must ensure it is something they want. This is the view of beauty journalist Zara Rabinowicz, who said: "I would advise anyone planning surgery to always have multiple consultations to make sure they understand and are happy with the proposed outcome - it's an art, not a science, and you can never guarantee results will be as you might think, so it's best to understand every potential outcome."

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Mental health 'taken seriously by young people'

While stigma still surrounds mental health issues, expatriate insurance customers might be surprised to hear that young people tend to take them seriously, according to The Scottish Association for Mental Health. Carolyn Roberts, head of policy and campaigns at the mental health charity, explained: "The more that parents and schools can do to help children and young people learn about mental health, the better.

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