I’ve often heard and read several places that most men will get prostate cancer to some degree if they live to a moderately old age. The good news is that, for many, it will have little or no impact on their lives or their mortality. For a great many they will, as the theory goes, never know they had it and it won’t be the cause of their death.
Prostate cancer that is slow growing, that is to say a low stage and grade, is quite often not treated in older men, but rather just monitored. This is known in the medical and insurance circles as watchful waiting. I polled a number of very good life insurance underwriters and was told that watchful waiting is not considered a treatment by them, and with all of them a client would be declined until an active and measurable treatment is completed. It is the medical stance that if the cancer ever does become more aggressive or dangerous then treatment can start and because it will be caught early in its’ aggressiveness, the treatment would likely be successful.
But let’s talk about the rest of us guys. There really is good news when it comes to prostate cancer and life insurance for the majority of cancer survivors. Especially if you get annual checkups (health fairs are great for this) prostate cancer can often be detected while the war is still very much winnable.
If a prostate cancer is a stage T1 or T2, and a Gleason grade of no more than six (this is the majority of cases), and the PSA at the time of diagnosis was less than 10 (this again is the majority of cases) better than standard rates should be attainable within a year after a prostatectomy and within two years after a radioactive seed implant. The underwriting guideline at that point would be that if they took the prostate out, your psa needs to be 0, and if they did a seed implant it needs to be .5 or less.
When you start talking about better than standard rates after most other types of cancer, that is not the norm. Getting those rates within a year or two would be completely unheard of with other types of cancer. Early detection is the key. A small price to pay for protecting your life, let alone your ability to purchase affordable life insurance.
Bottom line. Guys aren’t exactly known for our proactive approach to health. We may exercise and eat right, but actually going to the doctor on a regular basis and having labs or even, dare I say it, a digital exam of our prostate, well, that’s just not normal.