Have you been diagnosed with advanced stage prostate cancer?
Chances are, if you have been diagnosed with locally or distantly advanced prostate cancer, you are feeling confused and scared about your next step. You may have also been afraid of what this diagnosis could mean for your life insurance policy.
We are here to tell you that it is possible to find an affordable life insurance policy if you have advanced prostate cancer. Our agents have a long history of helping men like you find affordable coverage, even if you have advanced-stage prostate cancer.
Understanding Advanced Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is defined as “advanced” when it has spread to the bones, lymph nodes or other parts of the body.
Prostate cancer can be locally advanced, meaning it has spread outside of the prostate into other tissues, such as the bladder or seminal vesicles. Distantly advanced prostate cancer is cancer that has spread – or metastasized – beyond the areas surrounding the prostate cancer, into the bloodstream or bones. ¹
Can Advanced Prostate Cancer Be Treated?
If your prostate cancer has advanced beyond the prostate gland, there are many treatment options available to you.
Certain medications, such as Trelstar or Leupron can treat advanced prostate cancer. This kind of treatment is called hormone therapy, or androgen deprivation therapy, and works by reducing testosterone levels responsible for the growth of the prostate gland. ²
Typically, hormone therapy is the first course of treatment for advanced prostate cancer. Bone loss, impotence and infertility are all side effects of this type of treatment.
If the cancer does not respond to hormone treatment, chemotherapy and radiation are both viable means of treatment.
As with any type of cancer treatment, chemotherapy and radiation can include many side effects. Radiation therapy is typically directed at cancer that has spread to the bones and can cause fatigue and urinary incontinence. Chemotherapy drugs such as Taxotere cause fatigue, a decrease in blood cell counts, nausea and hair loss.
Depending on your cancer’s response to hormone treatments, your oncologist may also recommend Provenge, a type of prostate cancer vaccine. Provenge genetically engineers a patient’s immune cells to fight the cancer. This type of treatment could cause nausea, fever, chills and an increased risk of stroke. ³
Can I Qualify for Life Insurance with Advanced Prostate Cancer?
There are options for men who have advanced stage prostate cancer.
Our agents can help you find the policy to best suit your needs. We understand prostate cancer and can explain your situation to underwriters. We also work with companies who understand prostate cancer and have a strong history of issuing affordable policies to prostate cancer patients.
When shopping for a life insurance policy with advanced prostate cancer, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Conversion is always an option. If you currently have a term life insurance policy, you may want to consider converting your policy to a whole life insurance policy.
Your premiums may be a bit more expensive with whole life; however, you are your family will be protected regardless of your health. Additionally, switching to whole life insurance allows you to lock in your premiums for the duration of your policy so that you won’t be saddled with unexpected increases due to health concerns..
- Assess how much you need. If you have been diagnosed with advanced stage prostate cancer, do you need enough coverage to pay for medical bills? Additionally, if you have small children you may want to factor in future educational expenses.
Take the time to assess your expenses with an agent before applying for a life insurance policy. This will ensure that you are not paying for a large policy that you may not need or use.
- Don’t limit your options. You may think that your diagnosis means that you can only qualify for no-medical exam life insurance, but this is not always the case. Not medical exam life insurance is good for older men and women who have multiple health issues and are unable to pass a medical exam.
Most men with prostate cancer – even men with advanced prostate cancer – may find that they are able to pass a medical exam. It may be worth it to apply for a high risk insurance policy, rather than a no medical exam policy. If you are consistently following a treatment program and you take the time to find the right company, you may be placed into a better risk class with lower premiums!
- Update your records! An underwriter cannot accurately assess your risk if your medical records are not up-to-date. Be sure to regularly attend your follow-up visits and to report any changes in your prognosis to your insurance company or agent. If your cancer responds to treatments, you could lower your risk and premiums simply by ensuring that your medical record reflects these changes.
- Be Patient! We cannot stress this enough to our clients with advanced stage prostate cancer. You are going through a lot right now and finding an insurance policy to cover you and your family is possible, but it may take time. We will do all that we can to relieve your stress and anxiety. You can get covered and we can help.
Advanced prostate cancer does not have to leave you and your family unprotected. It is possible to find an affordable life insurance policy if your prostate cancer has spread.
Speaking to an agent who understands prostate cancer is the first step to finding the coverage you need.
- Advanced Prostate Cancer Questions – WebMD. (2014, January 1). http://www.webmd.com/prostate-cancer/prostate-cancer-faq
- Treatment for locally-advanced prostate cancer. (2014, January 1). http://www.macmillan.org.uk/Cancerinformation
- Urology Care Foundation The Official Foundation of the American Urological Association. (2014, May 1). http://www.urologyhealth.org/urology/index.cfm?article=149