Whenever we talk about breast cancer life insurance the real meat of the discussion revolves around stage and grade. Just like the five year survival rate, life insurance for breast cancer survivors is a far better deal with an early stage and low grade.
We know that a stage 0 or stage 1 breast cancer has almost no chance of cancer related mortality while a stage IV has just a 20% five year survival rate. In my mind this factor hasn’t quite lined up with underwriting decisions with best case scenarios with breast cancer generally only garnering standard rates.
I know I’m not the one writing the large death benefit checks, but it seems to me that if, medically speaking, you’ve gone through something like breast cancer and it is a stage and grade that has a 100% 5 year survival rate, preferred rates ought to be available. If you take everyone out there getting approved at preferred and preferred plus rates, the truth is that as a group they won’t have a 100% 5 year survival rate.
Just in the last month one of the major players in life insurance has stepped up and agreed with me. OK, they probably aren’t just agreeing with me but they have said that low stage and grade successfully treated breast cancer can be underwritten at preferred rates. And this isn’t a company like the US Financial of past years whose preferred rate sounded great but was really monetarily equal to other company’s standard rates. This is a truly competitive company with a truly competitive preferred rate.
So, what should you do with that kind of tantalizing information? First, if you don’t already have a copy, get a copy of your post surgical pathology report and make sure that the TNM stage and grade are included on the document. If you have any doubts, because there can be a lot of information to go through, call your oncologist or send a copy to your life insurance agent. The staging would show in a TNM format, for instance Tis N0 M0, is a stage 0 in situ breast cancer.
The grade of the breast cancer is on a scale from 1 to 3 with 1 being low and 3 being high. Grading is a measure of how rapidly cancer cells are growing. So, a best case scenario would be a grade 1, stage 0 breast cancer. If you had a low stage and grade breast cancer and have put off purchasing life insurance, there’s no reason to wait. Most companies will have some waiting period after treatment before they will give their best consideration, usually a year.
Bottom line. Wherever you’re at, even if it’s been less than a year or it was a higher stage than 0 or grade 1, give me a call and we can determine where you stand and if not now, when is the best time to proceed with a breast cancer life insurance application.