Prostate Canceror Enlarged Prostate
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Prostate Cancer or Enlarged Prostate
Getting life insurance if you have ever had prostate cancer is possible, provided that you can meet certain requirements. Any time you buy a life insurance policy and pose a risk to the insurance company by having a pre-existing condition, you should expect to pay more.
What Is Prostate Cancer?
According to Mayo Clinic, prostate cancer is cancer that occurs in the prostate, a small walnut-shaped gland in men that produces the seminal fluid that nourishes and transports sperm. It is one of the most common cancers in men, with more than 3 million cases in the US every year.
Prostate cancer is the abnormal growth of cells in a man’s prostate gland . The prostate sits just below the bladder. It makes part of the fluid for semen. In young men, the prostate is about the size of a walnut. As men age, the prostate usually grows larger.
Prostate cancer is common in men older than 65. It usually grows slowly and can take years to grow large enough to cause any problems.
As with other cancers, treatment for prostate cancer works best when the cancer is found early. Often, prostate cancer that has spread responds to treatment. Older men who have prostate cancer usually die from other causes.
Experts don’t know what causes prostate cancer, but they believe that your age, family history (genetics), and race affect your chances of getting it.
How old you have to be?
For most, this may seem like a very innocent question. However, the answer might even get you an instant decline or a postponement.
Let me clarify – if you were first diagnosed before the age of 50, the more aggressive cancer typically is, so the more potential it has to metastasize further and can eventually cause your death.
Secondly, having it in your forties is a huge concern to the insurance underwriter because a younger person having a disease that mostly happens in an older population shows that your overall health may be in jeopardy.
Even if you beat cancer, you may still be required to wait longer before applying for a traditional policy. (If you are over the age of 50, you may need to wait 1 year; under the age of 50 will need to wait 5 years.)
See your doctor for a checkup if:
You have urinary problems, such as:
• Not being able to urinate at all.
• Having a hard time starting or stopping the flow of urine.
• Having to urinate often, especially at night.
• Having pain or burning during urination.
• You have difficulty having an erection.
• You have blood in your urine or semen.
• You have deep and frequent pain in your lower back, belly, hip, or pelvis.
Prostate Cancer Risk Factors
Even though doctors are not clear about the cause of prostate cancer, there is consensus on the risks that can increase a man’s risk of it:
• Older age men. The risk of prostate cancer increases as you age.
• African American men. Black men have shown to have a greater risk of prostate cancer than men from other races.
• Your family history. Men who have a history of prostate cancer or breast cancer in their family are more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer.
• Being overweight. Men who are obese and have been diagnosed with prostate cancer are typically more likely to have an advanced stage of cancer which is more difficult to treat.
What are the symptoms?
Prostate cancer usually doesn’t cause symptoms in its early stages. Most men don’t know they have it until it is found during a regular medical exam.
When problems are noticed, they are most often problems with urinating. But these same symptoms can also be caused by an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia). An enlarged prostate is common in older men.
What are the Cancer stages?
Like other cancers, the growth and spread of prostate cancer is described in stages. In prostate cancer, we have 1 to 4 stages, with 1 being the least aggressive and 4 being the most aggressive
A tumor has not spread outside the prostate. These cases are discovered about 80% of the time, with a 5-year survival rate of almost 100%.
The tumor has not spread outside the prostate, however, the cells may grow quicker.
The tumor has spread to the nearby seminal vesicles
Can be described as a very aggressive tumor that has already spread to other parts of the body, such as bones, liver, or other organs.
What are the symptoms?
If your diagnostics show stage 1 or 2, you can qualify for preferred rates, provided your overall health is good.
Stage 3, you may still be able to get life insurance, but may need to wait longer after treatment.
If you had stage 4, it will be impossible to get a traditional life insurance and you may need to opt for a guaranteed issue policy.
Depending on the stage of the prostate cancer, there are several methods of treatment that you doctor will recommend.
Men who area diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer may not receive any treatment but instead are recommended active surveillance which typically includes regular blood tests, rectal exams, and possibly biopsies that are used to monitor your condition.
Similar to stage I prostate cancer, patients with stage II who are not presenting any symptoms will be typically be recommended active surveillance, however, radical prostatectomy and radiation therapy may also be options that are appropriate.
When the cancer is considered stage III, it means that it has grown outside the prostate but has not yet reached the bladder or rectum. The cancers have not yet spread to lymph nodes or other organs in the body. The treatment options for stage III prostate cancer typically include external beam radiation, hormone therapy, radical prostatectomy, or a combination of the three.
Since stage IV cancers have already begun to spread to nearby organs such as the bladder, rectum, nearby lymph nodes, and bones, only a small portion of stage IV patients may be cured using some or all of the treatment listed in stage III, plus additional surgery to relieve symptoms. Typically, stage IV prostate cancer cannot be cured but only treated to improve the patient’s quality of life.
How will Prostate Cancer Affect My Life Insurance?
Typically, most high-risk life insurers will accept you for a policy provided you are in remission, or your cancer is being treated successfully, but you will likely be surcharged until such time that you are cancer free. In some cases, under ideal circumstances, you may even qualify for a standard rate.
Although most prostate cancer patients believe they are unacceptable for standard life insurance rates, many have found that because of new treatments that have shown considerable success, life insurance underwriters are somewhat more liberal and are issuing policies with a standard rating.
Life Insurance with Prostate Cancer Sample Monthly Rates
50-Year-Old Male Nonsmoker on a 20-Year Term
60-Year-Old Male Nonsmoker on a 20-Year Term
70-Year-Old Male Nonsmoker on a 20-Year Term
What if my Application is Declined?
For prostate cancer patients whose application is declined, there is an alternative. Your independent agent will likely represent several insurance carriers who offer guaranteed issue life insurance.
This type of policy is issued without regard to your health history and is typically issued within days of your application.
By electing a guaranteed issue life insurance policy, you will agree to a lower death benefit of $25,000 to $30,000.
You will also be agreeing to a waiting period of two or three years before your insurer will pay a death benefit if you die from natural causes (most carriers will pay the full benefit from the first day if death is the result of an accident).
And, since the insurer is accepting an unknown health risk, you will be paying a much higher rate than standard life insurance.
Our team is here to help!
If you are looking for life insurance and you have had prostate cancer, consider working with an insurance broker. Tackling this project by yourself will not save you any money and will only add frustration and headache to you in the process.
Working with a broker is free because we get paid by the insurance company — we work for you, not them. You can give us a call at 866-326-3053 for an unbiased personal quote for your specific health conditions, or you can run the quotes on this page and choose the regular health class.