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Since it is breast cancer awareness month and since breast cancer and life insurance is an issue that is visited frequently on our website, I thought I would just recap some of the things we know about it and how life insurance underwriters view it.

  1. Breast cancer is the 2nd most common cancer among women. The only more common cancer is skin cancer.
  2. About 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer during their lifetime.
  3. About 240,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year in the US.
  4. About 40,000 will die from the disease this year.
  5. These numbers  are significantly better than in the 80’s and 90’s primarily due to better education, detection and treatment.

There is good news when it comes to breast cancer. There is very real hope that the downward trend in new cases and deaths will continue, maybe even more dramatically.

Life insurance underwriting has been following these trends and companies are becoming more aggressive about offering better rates sooner than at any point in the past. About 1/4 of the 240,000 new cases this year were in situ tumors. With treatment today, many of those women can get life insurance at better than standard rates within a year, sometimes less, of completing treatment.

Bottom line. All of the efforts to educate women on the issue of breast cancer are paying off. It is this type of awareness that saves lives and lower insurance rates.