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When you have survived cancer and are past the scare and past the treatment, for a lot of people it’s a time to reflect on what just happened and, for many, how they were lacking in the life insurance department. There are some basic guidelines that will help you understand what steps (or hurdles) you need to take to secure life insurance after a run in with cancer.

Unfortunately we can’t bulk all cancers together and make a generalized list. Just like the cancers themselves, the underwriting differences between say, colon cancer and prostate cancer, are huge. Probably the only digestible way to present this is to take several levels of cancers, one at a time, and talk about how to get from treatment to approved for life insurance. For this post let’s just start with one of the easier cancers to beat and also one of the easier to get life insurance after, prostate cancer.

Rates as good as standard or standard plus can be obtained as soon as a year post treatment with prostate cancer. The following guidelines for a best case scenario.

1. Diagnosis level PSA would preferably be 12 or below.

2. Gleason grade 6 or below and a stage 1 or 2 cancer on the biopsy.

3. Treatment by radical prostatectomy

4. Post treatment PSA at zero for at least six months with no fluctuation


5. Treatment by radiation seed implant and PSA at .5 or below for one year,

It’s very important to note that while “watchful waiting”, the very valid medical practice of just keeping an eye on it with slow growing prostate  cancer, is not considered a treatment for underwriting purposes.  I have searched far and wide for an insurance company that will consider coverage during watchful waiting and have yet to find one. The hunt goes on.

It’s also important to note that the guidelines above are a best case scenario for the best underwriting outcome. Approvals can still be found with higher PSA’s at diagnosis, or higher Gleason grades or occasionally with a higher stage than 2, but probably not with a combination of all three being higher.

Bottom line. <a href=””>Prostate cancer</a> is the second most common cancer in men, but it has a very high survival rate, especially for those who get regular exams and catch the cancer in it’s earliest stages. For those very reasonably priced life insurance is certainly within reach.