World Cancer Day, February 4th

As a specialist insurer, Pulse Insurance is regularly asked to provide cover for people recovering from cancer or in remission.  We are often able to consider cases just 12 months after treatment has been completed although we may need to wait a little longer if there is any uncertainty as to whether the cancer has spread.  Compare this with many standard market providers who will want to wait 5 years or more after treatment.

Of course we need to understand as much as possible about the details of someone’s treatment.  For us, when considering whether cover is available the key things we will need to have information on are the four “Ds”:

  • Date (when was the cancer diagnosed and when was the treatment completed)
  • Diagnosis (what exactly was the diagnosis)
  • Drugs (what drugs were prescribed) and
  • Duration (how long was treatment for, how long did the person have cancer for)

But in addition to this we will also want to get a feel for the person’s lifestyle.  This may seem surprising but we now know that it isn’t just whether a person smokes or drinks that will impact their chances of having cancer or making a good recovery, other aspects of their lifestyle can also play a significant part.

Last week the Lancet reported on a new report issued by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on cancer and obesity, it made the point that cancers associated with weight, including thyroid, liver, kidney, and ovarian cancer, now make up 40% of cancers diagnosed in the USA. In other words, obesity is no longer just a concern for heart disease and diabetes, but also for the prevention of cancer.

It may not be wholly surprising that being overweight impacts on someone’s risk of having cancer… Perhaps more surprising is research reported in 2016 that cancer survival rates are higher if you are a married.  The research looked at various explanations for this but as lead researcher Scarlett Gomez said, their analysis showed that money doesn’t explain the extent of the protective effects and points instead to “social support as a key driver”.

Underwriters won’t tell people how to live their life or what choices to make about their treatment but taken as a whole, what the research shows is that there many factors that impact on how well someone will recover from cancer.  A healthy lifestyle and a strong support network (whether or not that means marriage) appear to have a positive impact on someone’s longer term prognosis when recovering from cancer.

For life insurance for people who are recovering from cancer and for more details generally please contact one of the team on:

Telephone:   01280 841430      E-mail:  [email protected]