Many women who have, or have had breast cancer, are interested in breast cancer life insurance approval. Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer diagnosed in women in the US. Each year, over 250,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer; over 40,000 a year will die from the disease.
Only lung cancer kills more women each year than breast cancer. More than 3.1 million women in the United States are cancer survivors.
What is breast cancer?
Breast cancer is caused by cells in the breast growing uncontrolled women’s breast tissue.
These cells usually form a lump or tumor in the breast that can be seen in an x-ray. If the tumor is malignant (cancer), the cells will grow and invade surrounding tissues in the breast. Tumors may metastasize (spread) to other parts of the body.
Breast cancer most frequently begins in the ducts that transport milk to the nipple (ductal cancer). Some cancers start in the glands that produce breastmilk (Lobular cancer). Other, less common, cancers are sarcomas and lymphomas that start in the tissues in the breast.
There is a lump in my breast; is it cancer?
Most lumps in the breast are benign and not cancerous. Noncancerous breast tumors do not spread outside the breast, are not life-threatening, and are merely abnormal growths. Some benign breast lumps are indicators of a woman’s increased risk of developing breast cancer.
All lumps in the breasts must be checked and tested by your physician to determine if it is benign or malignant.
How does breast cancer spread?
Breast cancer spreads when cancer cells get into your blood system or lymph system and are carried to other parts of your body.
If cancer cells spread into your lymph nodes, the chances are high that cancer cells have traveled throughout your lymph system and spread throughout your body (metastasized).
Once cancer has been found in your lymph nodes, the medical diagnosis is more serious, and more invasive medical actions, such as surgery, may be initiated.
Breast cancer treatment
Breast-cancer treatment will depend on your unique situation and where the tumor is located. It will also depend on the stage and the grade of the cancer tumor. Most women will receive some of the following medical treatments for breast cancer:
- Hormone therapy
- Surgery (mastectomy, lumpectomy, etc.)
What is the best way to prevent breast cancer?
Lifestyle choices – Diet, exercise, and other lifestyle behaviors will contribute to the development, or lack thereof, of cancer cells in your body.
Alcohol – Drinking alcohol has been shown to increase your risk of developing breast cancer. The more alcohol you drink, the more your risk of breast cancer increases.
Women who drink 2 to 3 drinks a day have a 20% higher risk compared to women who don’t drink alcohol. Consumption of excessive alcohol increases chances of other kinds of cancers.
Overweight – Being overweight or obese after menopause increases your chances of developing breast cancer. Having more fat tissue after menopause has been shown to raise estrogen levels, which leads to an increased chance of developing breast cancer.
Women who are overweight also have higher levels of blood insulin. Higher insulin levels have been shown to increase some forms of breast cancer.
Physical Inactivity – Routine physical activity has shown to reduce your breast-cancer risk (especially in women past menopause). Even 2 to 3 hours of physical activity each week has shown to reduce the chances of developing breast cancer.
Children – Women who have not had children, or had their first child after 30 years of age, have a slightly higher chance of developing breast cancer.
Birth Control – Most studies find that women who use oral contraceptives (birth control pills) have a slightly increased risk of breast cancer versus women who have never used birth control pills. After stopping the use of oral contraceptives, your increased risk of developing breast cancer subsides.
Will being diagnosed with breast cancer affect my life insurance eligibility?
Because any form of cancer is a serious medical concern, the insurance companies will review your cancer history and medical history before approving you for a life insurance policy.
Here are factors that would affect your life insurance eligibility:
- Diagnosis date
- Tumor size
- Stage in grade of cancer
- Lymph node involvement
- Tumor metastasis
- Medications and treatments
- Menopausal status
- Surgeries or other medical procedures
- Time since any medical treatments or surgeries
- Follow-up care with your doctor
- Tobacco, drug, or alcohol use
- Other major health problems
What types of life insurance what I qualify for?
Depending on your stage of cancer and the time since being diagnosed with cancer, your policy may be declined, postponed, or approved.
Will I be able to get life insurance if I have breast cancer?
Yes, there are life insurance options with breast cancer. Because any form of cancer is a serious medical problem, the life insurance companies will review your breast cancer condition and the rest of your health information carefully before issuing a life insurance policy.
What kind of life insurance will I be able to purchase with breast cancer?
Term Life Insurance – Because breast cancer can spread to other parts of your body, the insurance companies will be more cautious when issuing term life insurance policies when you are diagnosed with this condition.
You may be able to qualify for most term life insurance policies up to a standard health rating.
Guaranteed Issue Whole Life (GIWL) – This insurance is available to breast cancer survivors. GIWL policies have lower death benefits (face value) and a graded period (1-2 years) before you are eligible for the guaranteed death benefit. During this graded period, most life insurance companies return your premium (with 8-10% interest) if a death occurs.
If the insured were to die of an accident in the two-year graded period, the life insurance policy would pay out the full death benefit.
Guaranteed Issue Term Life (GITL) – This insurance is available to breast cancer patients and survivors. GITL policies come in two face amounts – $25,000 and $50,000. Just like GIWL, there is a two-year graded period before you are eligible for the guaranteed death benefit. If the death occurred during this graded period, either a return of premium or a percentage of the face amount would be paid to the beneficiaries.
Accidental Death Insurance (AD) – This insurance is also available to breast cancer patients and survivors. Although this coverage is available and is very affordable, AD life insurance may be a secondary choice to any other life insurance options available.
In ages 18 through 45, accidental death is the number one cause of death. So, even though you have breast cancer, you also have a statistically high chance of dying in an accident driving back and forth to the hospital for treatment of your breast cancer.
Depending on your tolerance for risk, a Term, GIWL, GITL, or AD policy may be an appropriate life insurance option for you with your breast cancer diagnosis.
Who should I purchase my life insurance from?
Breast cancer is a unique health condition that requires a life insurance agent to be knowledgeable in underwriting procedures and practices. Most life insurance agents have not written life insurance policies for high-risk breast cancer patients and survivors.
You will want an agent who has worked with breast cancer life insurance candidates, who has researched insurance company eligibility, and who has spoken with underwriters about this medical condition in the past.
At Life-Wealth-Win, we are uniquely qualified to help you purchase life insurance if you have breast cancer.
What are my first steps to purchase life insurance if I have breast cancer?
Your first step would be to call us so we can understand your entire medical history. We must know your age, height, weight, medical problems, prescriptions, and other items asked on your life insurance application.
After gathering all your information, we will approach insurance company underwriters with your information to see who will offer you the most life insurance coverage at the best rates.
When should I purchase life insurance with breast cancer?
The earlier you purchase life insurance with breast cancer, the better.
As you grow older, you risk more medical complications, which will make your life insurance premiums increase or make you ineligible for life insurance in the future.
With breast cancer, the sooner you get life insurance coverage, the better. Purchase as much as you can afford for the longest length of time you can afford it.
If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, call us to help you understand your breast cancer life insurance approval options.
At Life Wealth Win, we specialize in healthy to high-risk life insurance cases. We can help you understand your life insurance options with breast cancer.
We work with clients across the nation to get the best life insurance rates possible. If you have breast cancer, we can help you get the best life insurance rates.