Two out of 3 people diagnosed with cancer survive five years or more, according to a CDC study published in today’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. And life insurance is never out of the question.
The report found that the most common cancer sites continue to be cancers of the prostate (128 cases per 100,000 men), female breast (122 cases per 100,000 women), lung and bronchus (61 cases per 100,000 persons), and colon and rectum (40 cases per 100,000 persons). Among these common cancer sites, 5-year relative survival was 97 percent for prostate cancer, 88 percent for breast cancer, 63 percent for colorectal cancer, and 18 percent for lung cancer.
“We are pleased to include cancer survivor data in this report for the first time. We will review these data annually to track our progress,” said Jane Henley, epidemiologist in CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control and lead author of the study.
The cancer survivor estimates are from CDC’s National Program of Cancer Registries. CDC scientists reviewed the most recent data on cases of invasive cancers reported during 2011. With the exception of urinary bladder cancer, invasive cancer is defined as cancer that has spread to surrounding normal tissue from where it began.
The authors noted that disparities in cancer incidence still persist, with greater rates among men than women and the highest rates among blacks. Additionally, 5-year relative survival after any cancer diagnosis was lower for blacks (60 percent) than for whites (65 percent).
Data by state show incidence rates for all cancer sites ranged from 374 cases per 100,000 persons in New Mexico to 509 cases per 100,000 persons in the District of Columbia.
“These data are an important reminder that a key to surviving with cancer is making sure everyone has access to care from early diagnosis to treatment,” said Lisa Richardson, M.D., director of CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control. “We know, for example, that early detection of colorectal cancer has had the largest impact on long-term survival rates.”
Life insurance is available for cancer survivors. As for breast cancer survivors, life insurers vary widely on how they underwrite and assess recovering breast cancer survivors, which underscores the importance of shopping around and in dealing with an agency that represents many companies:
– Look back periods ranged from two to 15 years from date of diagnosis or surgery, with most common being three years.
– While no company would award their absolute best “super preferred” rates, some would allow their next-to-best rates ranging from preferred to standard being the most common.
– Each applicant’s medical treatment history and most recent pathology reports will be looked at closely.
Another option for cancer survivors is guaranteed life insurance No matter what your illness, there are no medical exams and medical questions are limited as long as you are not living in a hospice or in the hospital.
Want to learn more about life insurance? Read our article The Most Frequently Asked Life Insurance Questions.