Prostate Cancer and Life Insurance Protection
Prostate Cancer has become the most common malignancy in men. As we men age, the probabilities indicate that around 40% of all males will develop prostate cancer if they live long enough. An autopsy study a few decades back on men over age 80 indicated that OVER 50% of the cadavers had prostate cancer at the time of their death. These were men who had died WITH the cancer being present in the gland…but not OF the prostate cancer. If there is any good news in this fact pattern, only about 3% of those that get the diagnosis of prostate cancer will die OF the cancer. Prostate cancer is not aggressive as a killer-cancer but with a young age diagnosis, in 40’s or 50’s, it is more of a concern when underwriting LIFE INSURANCE protection. Prostate cancer in its early stages (low PSA numbers and low Gleason scores on biopsy) may in fact result in NO recommended treatment except regular surveillance checkups every 6 months to see how rapidly the PSA is rising (called PSA Velocity).
Screening Tests for prostate cancer usually start with the simple blood test of the PSA, Prostate Specific Antigen. An elevated PSA level on the blood test can result in additional testing of the sample called a FREE PSA which breaks apart the total PSA value into a Free PSA component percentage. This is one of those cases where you WANT to be high since the higher the percentage number of the FREE PSA component, the LESS LIKELY chance of a cancer being the cause of the elevated PSA. The LOWER the FREE PSA percentage, the HIGHER the probability of a cancer being present. Should test results of the PSA and Free PSA generate concern with your physician, he/she will likely recommend a next step consideration of prostate biopsy or CT scan of the prostate.
THE BIOPSY—The Prostate Gland is pretty easily accessible via rectal exam. The Prostate Gland itself is about the size of a small plum with a left and right lobe. A Prostate Needle biopsy is a standardized protocol today of 12 total samplings (6 from each lobe) in a divided grid of the gland to localize a cancer for treatment protocol options. Once the biopsy specimens are each reviewed for the presence of cancer…or not…the cell typing (aggressive or not) is determined in a Gleason Score: the higher the score, the more aggressive and unpredictable is the cancer. Additionally, prostate cancers are “staged” which helps the physician/oncologist determine the best treatment modes and options.
THE DIAGNOSIS—while a diagnosis of ANY cancer is not welcomed, you should be encouraged that the treatments for prostate cancer offer EXCELLENT cure rates today! The treatment protocols that work best depend on the age at diagnosis, the Gleason Score and the staging of the cancer.
LIFE INSURANCE AFTER PROSTATE CANCER—The insurability of a male with a prostate cancer history has statistically been categorized in underwriting with a line on an age chart at age 70. Those persons diagnosed with a prostate cancer UNDER age 70 would fall into a different (higher) risk classification than those that were OVER age 70 at the time of diagnosis.
Prostate cancer is one of the cancers that CAN be insurable for very competitively priced LIFE INSURANCE PROTECTION. Some quick questions below can result in quick answers from our in house underwriting team.
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