Colon cancer is the third most common cancer in men and women. The cancer begins in the colon, which is our intestinal track that connects our small intestines to the rectum. The cancer occurs in the colon, where non-cancerous polyps grow and eventually develop into cancer.
Risk Factors for Colon Cancer
Anyone can develop colon cancer, but it is most common in people over the age of 50. Individuals who may have a higher risk for colon cancer are:
• Past history of cancer
• Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s Disease, Inflammatory bowel disease
• Family history of colon cancer or polyps
• Low-fiber, high-fat diet
• Inactive lifestyle
• Tobacco user
Signs and Symptoms of colon cancer:
• Change in bowel habits
• Bleeding or blood in your stool
• Constant abdominal discomfort (gas, cramps or pain)
• Weakness or fatigue
• Unexplained weight loss
Early detection is imperative with colon cancer. Typically, pre-screening starts at the age of 50 with routine colonoscopies. If you have a family history of colon cancer, then you should consider being screened at an earlier age. Colon cancer can be detected by a colonoscopy or CT scan.
Treatment will vary depending on the individual’s tumor size and location, stage and grade of the cancer and other personal factors. There are three types of treatment: radiation, chemotherapy and surgery.
What is the stage of cancer?
The most often used grading system is called the “Dukes Staging System.” The system indicates how deep the tumor is in the colon or rectum. It will also inform us if any lymph nodes were involved.
• In-situ: cancer is present but no lymph nodes involved.
• Stage I: cancer has grown through the lining of the colon and no lymph nodes involved.
• Stage II: cancer has grown into or through the wall of the colon and no lymph nodes involved.
• Stage III: cancer has grown into or through the wall of colon, and lymph nodes were involved, but it hasn’t spread to the other parts of your body.
• Stage IV: cancer has spread into other parts of your organs.
What Life Insurance Companies Need to Know
Once you have been treated and are now cancer-free, the insurance companies will want to know the following:
1. When were you diagnosed?
2. Do you have a family history of colon cancer? Or any other cancer?
3. How was your cancer treated? (surgery, chemo, radiation?)
4. When did you complete your treatment?
5. What was the stage of your cancer?
6. Have you had any recurrence?
7. When was your last colonoscopy?
It is very important that you keep accurate records and have follow-up visits with your doctor.
How will this impact my rating for life insurance with colon cancer?
Obviously, the more severe your colon cancer is the more difficult and expensive it will be for your life insurance coverage. The underwriters will review your application in detail, including the “Dukes’ Staging” of cancer, the length of time since the last date of treatment and your follow-up with your physician.
Here are the rate classes that you can expect overall:
Early detection, In Situ stage: You could qualify for standard rates.
Stage 1 to stage 2: After a year from treatment, then you would qualify with a $7.50 flat extra fee on top of your coverage for the first seven years. After seven years, you would qualify for standard health rates.
Stage 2 to stage 3: After two years from treatment, then you would qualify with a $10.00 flat extra until you’re nine years out. After nine years, you would qualify for standard rates with a handful of companies.
Stage 3: If you have more than two lymph nodes, then you would be declined and your only option would be a graded death benefit policy. If it’s less than two lymph nodes, you will need to wait five years, and then it will be a substandard rating with a flat extra.
Stage 4: Your only option would be a graded death benefit policy.
The real key to purchasing life insurance with colon cancer is working with a high-risk life insurance agent. We know which insurance company is going to look at your history of colon cancer favorably.
We are High Risk Life Insurances represent several insurance companies, and we’ll shop your application with the top carriers in the industry. Only by doing this can we ensure that you will receive the best rate for your life insurance with colon cancer.
Fill out the online form or contact us today at 877-817-2583 and let us shop for the best life insurance rates for you!