Due to screening and early detection, physicians have been able to detect cancers before they have developed or at an early stage, which can result in a lower life insurance premium.
Screening aims at detecting abnormal tissue or precancerous cells at an early state, when they are most likely to be curable. By the time symptoms appear, the cancer may have grown and spread, which makes it harder to treat. This may involve blood tests, urine test, or medical imaging.
The American Cancer Society recommends screening for the following types of cancers: breast cancer, colon cancer and cervical cancer.
Mammograms and clinical breast exams (CBE) are used to detect early stages of breast cancer. Yearly mammograms are recommended starting at the age of 40, while CBEs are recommended every three years for women in their 20s and 30s.
The mortality rate from breast cancer has dropped 30 percent in the past 30 years, due to better screening.
Since colon cancer is the second deadliest cancer in the United States, it is recommended that both men and women aged 50 to 75 get a colonoscopy every 10 years.
The first national colonoscopy guidelines were released in 2000 and since then there was a six percent drop in diagnosed colon cancers. Most doctors can catch and remove precancerous polyps during screening.
It is recommended that women between the ages of 21 to 29 have a Pep smear every three years and every five years for women between the ages of 30 to 65 along with an HPV test.
Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer for women and develops over time, but due to screening and early detection, deaths in the United States continue to decline.
Having a history of cancer is a huge factor when determining the premium for life insurance. But, being proactive with cancer screenings can save your life and wallet.
Tony Steuer is an author and advocate for Financial Preparedness. Tony Steuer, CLU, LA, CPFFE, helps people make sense of the financial world in a way that’s easy for them to understand. His books, including GET READY!, Insurance Made Easy and Questions and Answers on Life Insurance have won numerous awards. Tony is the founder of the Get Ready Initiative which includes the Get Ready financial organization system, the Get Ready Financial Preparedness Club, Get Ready Podcast and the GET READY! Financial Principles, a best practices playbook for the financial services industry. Tony served as long term member of the California Department of Insurance Curriculum Board. Tony is regularly featured in media including the New York Times, the Washington Post, Fast Company and other media and has appeared as a guest on shows like ABC’s Seven on Your Side. Visit www.tonysteuer.com to join the Get Ready Financial Preparedness Club and access free resources.