The life insurance industry is changing and, with it, the way underwriters and carriers view the risk factor of their clients.
This means that even clients with high-risk diseases find it possible to find a life insurance option to suit their needs.
Individuals who have been diagnosed with cancer and are shopping for life insurance may feel panicked and stressed that they won’t be able to afford their premiums or, worse, that they will be declined for coverage.
The good news is that this worry is often unfounded. It is possible to find affordable coverage to suit your unique situation.
Your first step? To work with an agent.
Read on to find out how an independent life insurance agent is your best bet for finding affordable coverage, particularly if you have cancer.
Cervical Cancer and Life Insurance : What You Need To Know
Cervical cancer is a high-risk type of cancer that affects women and accounts for roughly 6% of cancers.
Roughly 4,120 women die from cervical cancer every year and, according to the American Cancer Society, 12,990 new cases of invasive cervical cancer will be diagnosed in the next year.
Cervical cancer occurs most commonly in Hispanic and African-American women, and women over the age of 30. Often this form of cancer has no symptoms, although advanced stages can cause abnormal bleeding or discharge.
Additionally, certain lifestyle choices may increase your risk for developing the cancer, such as smoking, exposure to HIV, using birth control pills for more than five years or birthing more than three children.
While these statistics may alarm you, cervical cancer can often be detected early, during routine gynecological visits and – when detected and diagnosed early – is one of the most successfully treated cancers.
Within the last 30 years, the cervical cancer death rate has dropped by nearly 50%, thanks to an increased use of the Pap test, which can detect abnormal, precancerous cells.
HPV shots are also attributed to the decline in cervical cancer deaths.
HPV stands for the human papillomavirus, a sexually transmitted virus. Most individuals will carry some strand of the virus during their lifetime; however, the shots are designed to protect against the strains of the virus that cause cervical cancer.
If you have been diagnosed with cervical cancer and are applying for life insurance, your agent will want to know the stage and grade of the cancer, as well as the date your were diagnosed.
The frequency of your checkups, as well as the date of your last pelvic exam, the date of your last Pap smear, if the cancer has recurred, your medications and treatment options will all need to be disclosed in order for your agent to accurately assess your risk and match you with the best policy and carrier possible.
The date of your last exam is particularly important, especially if you are over the age of 30.
In many cases, if you are over the age of 30 and your Pap and HPV tests come back normal, the chances of being diagnosed with cervical cancer are incredibly low.
This means that, if you are an otherwise healthy individual, you may be able to qualify for the lowest risk rating and the best premiums.
We understand that it may seem uncomfortable to be sharing some of this information with your insurance agent; however, all of this information can help him or her form an accurate picture of your risk and find you the right coverage.
Preventing and Treating Cervical Cancer
Preventing cervical cancer is as simple as visiting your gynecologist for a routine checkup and Pap test.
If you are a smoker, quitting smoking greatly reduces your risk of being diagnosed with cervical cancer (please visit http://smokefree.gov/ for resources and support). Additionally, using condoms, getting your HPV shots and limiting the number of your sexual partners are all effective ways to prevent cervical cancer.
If you have already been diagnosed with cervical cancer, treatment options will depend on the stage and grade of the cancer.
The treatment options for cervical cancer include:
- Traditional surgery to remove the tumor from the cervix
- Cryosurgery, in which liquid nitrogen or carbon dioxide are used to destroy the tumor by freezing it.
- Hysterectomy, which involves the removal of all or parts of the reproductive organs
- Conization, which involves the removal of a wedge-or-conical-shaped sample of the cervical tissue
- Radiation or chemotherapy may also be suggested treatments for any remaining cancer cells or in cases of more aggressive forms of cervical cancer.
In rare cases in which the cancer has spread to the distant organs such as the lungs, you may find that you are uninsurable; however, in most cases finding coverage is possible.
For the most accurate estimate of your premium you will need to provide your pathology report.
In many cases, the premiums might be high for a certain period of time – between three and five years – to ensure successful treatment and no recurrence of the disease.
The Importance of Assessing Your Risk
Just as regular screenings are important to preventing cervical cancer, visiting an agent prior to researching your insurance options is important to making sure you aren’t overpaying for your coverage – especially if you have been diagnosed with cervical cancer.
Independent agents for bonds with insurers, and know which insurers offer the best rates, based on a variety of scenarios.
This means that we are able to cross-reference what is favorable to these carriers and find a choice tailored to you. If you look for life insurance companies on your own, you may miss out on a lower premium and less hassle.
The key is to compare several agencies at once, in order to provide you with the best options for your life insurance coverage.
Cervical cancer should not stand in your way from finding quality coverage at a reasonable rate, and we can help you assess your options, no matter your situation.