Many men think when they have an adverse health condition, such as testicular cancer, qualifying for life insurance coverage is completely out of reach. The truth is, finding the policy you need may not be as difficult as you initially thought.
We specialize in higher risks, and getting approved for life insurance after testicular cancer is one of the many cancers we deal with on a regular basis.
Although testicular cancer is a very serious health issue, it also has a high survival rate. In addition, because all life insurance carriers will underwrite their coverage a little differently from one another, you may be surprised to find one company will offer far better rates than the next. We’ll help you find the cheapest one to work with.
Get Approved For Life Insurance After Testicular Cancer
Testicular cancer is most commonly diagnosed in men who are in their mid 30’s. According to the National Cancer Institute, this particular type of cancer represents less than 1% of all new cancer cases in the United States each year.
The relative survival rate, however, for men who are diagnosed with testicular cancer is quite high. Based on data from SEER (The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program), there is a better than 95% chance of surviving for five years or more if diagnosed with this type of cancer and the five year rate of survival for those with localized testicular cancer (i.e., cancer is confined to just one primary site) is higher than 99%.
It is important to note there are different stages of testicular cancer, and different ways to classify it, as well. You must know this information in order to give your agent and accurate basis to begin quoting.
There are two ways to state the severity of the testicular cancer using two rating systems. These include the TNM system and the traditional staging method. The TNM system stands of Tumor, Nodes, and Metastasis, and is defined like this:
The TNM System
Stages of testicular cancer defined by the tumor are organized this way:
- TIS – Short for testicular intraepithelial neoplasia, cancer cells have been located but have yet to navigate throughout the testicle.
- T1 – At T1, the cancer is located only within the testicle, and could have moved to the epididymis, or the tubes which are attached to the testes. This means it is not located in the lymph nodes or in any other bodily organs.
- T2 – At T2, the cancer is in the testicle, and it has also spread into the nearby lymph nodes in the pelvis or in the abdomen, or have made their way to the blood vessels connected the testes.
- T3 – At T3, the cancer can be at varying levels. The tumor has not only grown in size, but cells may have pushed through to any or all of the blood vessels, connecting lymph nodes, or even the spermatic cord.
- T4 – At T4, the tumor is large and cancer cells have proceeded passed the area of the testicles and surrounding tissues to the scrotum or connected abdomen.
Lymph node size is broken down to an additional four classifications, and the larger the lymph nodes, the worse the case of cancer is. The break down looks like this:
- N0 – Cancer cells have not made it to the lymph nodes.
- N1 – Cancer cells have progressed to nearby lymph nodes, but none greater than 2 cm in diameter.
- N2 – Cancer cells have progressed to nearby lymph nodes in excess of 2 cm in diameter, but not larger than 5 cm in diameter.
- N3 – Cancer cells have progressed to nearby lymph nodes in excess of 5 cm in diameter.
When looking at the metastasis, the focus in on spread to other organs and is simplified to three short classifications:
- M0 – Cancer cells have not spread.
- M1B – Cancer cells have progressed to lymph nodes a good distance from the testes.
- M1B – Cancer cells have progressed to other major organs.
Finally, there is one last measure to classify testicular cancer, called the S Stage, which looks at the blood profile of the patient to determine the amount of protein within the blood. This is no more than a snapshot, but can be a quick measure to get a basic idea of severity.
- S0 – Normal
- S1 – Mildly High
- S2 – Moderatly High
- S3 – Very High
The most simplified method, traditional staging of testicular cancer breaks the severity down to just three categories, though each category is more specifically defined within. Here is how it is broken down:
Cancer cells have not gone beyond the testicle.
Cancer cells have progressed beyond the testicle and invaded the nearby lymph nodes. More specifically, you may see:
- 2A – infected lymph nodes do not exceed a maximum of 2 cm in diameter
- 2B – infected lymph nodes do not exceed a maximum of 5 cm in diameter, but are larger than 2 cm
- 2C – an infected lymph node measures greater than 5 cm in diameter
Cancer cells have progressed beyond just the testicle and lymph nodes, pushing as far as other places in the body, such as blood vessels, organs, or other bodily tissue distant from the genitalia.
- 3A – cells have progressed beyond the lymph nodes, and marker levels could be mildly higher
- 3B – cells have progressed beyond the lymph nodes, and marker levels are moderately higher to high
- 3C – cells have progressed beyond the lymph nodes, and marker levels are very high, or cells are present in other organs
Your qualification for life insurance coverage will certainly depend on a number of different factors, including your current health condition, the TNM or stage you diagnosed at, how well you’ve responded to treatment, how long ago your treatment was, and any other health issues you may have.
Proper Application Process
Just as with any other life insurance applicant, you will need to complete a life insurance application for coverage in order to begin the process of applying for a policy. Here, the insurance company will inquire about basic information such as your:
- Contact Information
- Height and Weight
- Tobacco Use
- Overall Health History
- Family Health History
- Dangerous Hobbies or Occupations
- Type and Amount of Coverage You Are Applying For
- Any Other Life Insurance In Force
Due to your testicular cancer, specifically, the agent and underwriter will also need to know additional details. You will be asked for condition specific information such as:
- When you were initially diagnosed with testicular cancer.
- Stage of the cancer at diagnosis, as well as at its worst.
- The type of treatment you underwent. (Surgery, Radiotherapy, Chemotherapy, Retroperitonial Lymph Node Dissection, Radical Inguinal Orchiectomy)
- How well the treatment worked, as well as instances of recurrence.
- Name and dose of any medication prescribed, both current and previous.
- What is your most recent AFP (alpha fetoprotein), hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), and LDH (lactate dehydrogenase)?
- Do you have any other health issues, even unrelated to the testicular cancer?
You will also be asked for permission from the underwriters obtain your medical records. These will be required from your primary care physician, your oncologist, or other specialists, as these can provide additional information which may assist the underwriters in making a more informed decision in evaluating your risk.
A medical examination will also be required. This will include you meeting with a paramedical professional, or “paramed,” and answering more detailed health related questions. You will also be asked to submit a blood and urine sample, have your blood pressure checked, and note your height and weight. All of your information will then be analyzed, and a decision about your insurance coverage can be determined.
Testicular cancer can have a positive prognosis for many men today and the best case scenario for someone who has Stage 1 testicular cancer with completed treatment is oftentimes a Mild Sub-Standard. It is rare to obtain a Standard policy rating with this type of cancer diagnosis. Possible factors limiting these ratings are tobacco use, family history, and how long it has been since treatment.
If you’ve had Stage 2 or Stage 3 testicular cancer, then it will be necessary to wait for between two and four years after treatment to apply for life insurance coverage in order to qualify. Ratings will vary widely, all depending on the complete history, but the best case scenario is likely a moderate or high Sub-Standard, with the additional possibility of flat extra fees.
If traditionally underwritten life insurance isn’t determined as a plausible route by your agent, it would be recommended to look into either graded or guaranteed life insurance policies until another option is available.
Get In Touch
Testicular cancer can present some challenges when applying for life insurance, but it is by no means a complete barrier to you getting the protection you need. We can help you to find the right solution.
In fact, finding life insurance for those who may have trouble going the traditional route is our specialty.
We work with many higher risk cases, and can match you up with the carrier who could best fit your coverage needs. When you’re ready to move forward, the best place to start is by filling out the quote form on the sidebar.