Testicular Cancer Staging and Life Insurance

Jeff Root Jeff Root Posted in Cancer
Last updated on May 2, 2019

As you’ve probably already learned from our earlier articles, misconceptions about cancer risk are common in the life insurance industry. This is because underwriters err on the side of rating applicants at a higher risk class with cancer.

It is the job of an underwriter to help a life insurance company take on the most risk while still earning a profit.

This is why, more often than not, an applicant with cancer will find themselves paying a lot more for their life insurance coverage – if they are even approved for coverage.

This is why individuals with “high risk” diseases pay more for life insurance coverage.

We know you take your health seriously and that the search for insurance can often be frustrating, which is why we take the time to become experts in your cancer and the risk surrounding it.

When you have an expert on your side who knows about your risk and the life insurance industry, you will almost always get better ratings and premiums.

Today we are going to talk about testicular cancer, its risk, treatment options, and what you’ll need to know before finding the best insurance for you.

Testicular Cancer: An Overview

Testicular cancer is the most common form of cancer found in men between the ages of 20 and 34; however, it isn’t actually a common form of cancer, although it is a widely-spoken-about form of cancer due to athlete Lance Armstrong’s battle with the disease.

In fact, less than 20,000 cases of testicular cancer are reported in the United States each year, and the American Cancer Society reports that about 1 in every 263 males will develop the cancer at some point.

For the year 2016, the American Cancer Society estimates that roughly 8,720 new cases will be diagnosed and, although the cancer is rare, only about 380 males will die from the disease.

If 380 seems like it’s too large a number for comfort, consider instead that the ACS reports that treatments for this cancer are incredibly effective, and the chances of dying from this form testicular cancer are roughly 1 in 5,000.

Risk factors for this type of cancer include body type, ethnicity, the presence of an undescended testicle, family history of the disease and the presence of an HIV infection; however, like most cancers, the cause of testicular cancer is a grouping of abnormal cells.

The two main types of cell s responsible for the development of the disease are germ cell cancers and non-germ cell cancers. The previous refers to two groups – seminoma and nonseminoma – and is responsible for roughly 95% of testicular cancer formations.

The latter, non-germ cell cancers, refers to a variety of cell types. Non-germ cell cancers can also form from the presence of other malignancies, such as lymphoma.

Treatment Options

The treatment options for this type of cancer depend on your general health, the type of cancer you have, and the stage at which you are diagnosed.

Fortunately, similar to prostate cancer, early detection is what (more often than not) leads to the successful treatment of the disease, so be sure to visit your doctor for regular checkups.

The staging for testicular cancer is broken into four stages, defined by the National Cancer Institute. These stages are as follows:

  • Stage I: this cancer as detected early and is still confined to the testes
  • Stage II: in this stage, the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes, typically those found in the abdomen.
  • Stage III: in this stage, the cancer has spread beyond the retroperitoneal abdominal lymph nodes and into the supradiaphragmatic lymph nodes. This stage is detected later and may have also spread to other parts of the body, typically the lungs and liver. This is the stage at which Lance Armstrong was diagnosed.
  • Stage IV: this stage refers to cancer that has spread beyond the lymphatic system

Radiation and chemotherapy may be used as treatment options for testicular cancer; however, the most common form of treatment is immediate radical orchiectomy, which refers to the removal of the testes.

Finding the Best Policy For You

When shopping for life insurance with testicular cancer, every detail of your health must be assessed to provide an overall picture. When it comes to your cancer, providing as much information as possible is the key to obtaining a good policy.

The first details you should report to your agent are the dates of your last treatment, the type of treatment you are undergoing, the stage of your cancer and the exact type of cancer involved.

Once your agent has this information and your medical records, he or she will be able to pre-underwrite you, and to provide you with a reasonable prices range you can expect from insurers.

If you happen to have been diagnosed with an advanced form of testicular cancer, your agent will request a 1-2 page pathology report.

The purpose of this report is to allow underwriters to meet with medical directors in the insurance field to come up with a policy tailored to your unique situation.

If you have not been diagnosed with a late-stage of testicular cancer, the list below will be able to provide you with information on what you can expect to pay for coverage.

Stage IIn this stage you can expect to be charged a flat extra of $5 per every $1,000. Typically this lasts for around 3 years following your last treatment. The rates at this stage will vary depending on prognosis and your overall health.
Stage IITypically, $7 is added on for every $1,000 of the policy. This flat extra may be added for up to four years after the date of your last treatment.
Stage IIIAt this stage, postponement for up to one year is no uncommon. This is done to monitor your health and ensure that the cancer won’t recur. After this year period, a flat extra between $5 and $7 may be added to your policy for an additional 3 years.
Stage IVAt this stage, your coverage may be postponed for 2 years, and you can expect a flat extra (between $5 and $7) for up to four years after you obtain coverage.

Of course, the stages of cancer are just one part of an individual’s overall health, so you should be sure to update your medical records and inform your agent of any changes in your health or condition.

Any questions?  Feel free to email me at krystn@noel-insurance.com, fill out the quote form on the side or call 877-817-2583

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