Watchful Waiting and Active Surveillance For Prostate Cancer
Getting insurance for individuals with cancer has its challenges. What was the cancer, how was it treated, how long has it been since therapy, what has the follow-up treatment been? The keyword in these scenarios is treatment. What if there has been no treatment at all? Prostate cancer is one of those processes where both doctors and patients may opt to defer treatment because of the slow growing nature of the disease, but the unknown outcome makes getting insurance even more problematic.
The Effect of Treatment Options on Life Insurance Premiums in Patients with Prostate Cancer
Patients with early stage, low risk prostate cancer are typically treated with radical prostatectomy, external beam radiation therapy or active surveillance. We examine how these different management options affect life insurance underwriting practices.
Prostate Cancer – Evolving Use of PSA Screening and Treatment Options
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men, with 220,800 new cases in 2015. It is also the second leading cause of cancer death in men (behind lung cancer). Prostate cancer is usually diagnosed later in life, from ages 50 to 75, which are prime insurance-buying ages. As a result, the insurance industry has paid great attention to developments in the screening and treatment of prostate cancer.
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Presentations from the 2016 SEHOUA Meeting
Slides from the 2016 SEHOUA Meeting have been posted. They include:
- Betsy Sears – “Young Kids, Old Bodies”
- Dr. Stout – “Drugs and Alcohol – The Landscape”
- Dr. Titcomb - “Red Cell Distribution Width (RDW): An Underappreciated Marker for Increased Mortality
- Mike Clift – “Motor Vehicle Reports and Driving Criticism Trends, Technology and Terminology”
- Dr. Greene - "Prostate Cancer: A Decade of Change"
- Dr. Dave Rengachary - “Advances in Multiple Sclerosis”
- Dr. Rooney – Genetics: A Discussion of How our Genes Impact Mortality”
- Ron Schaber, Philip R. Murphy and Greg Brandner - “Big Data Today and Tomorrow – the drive toward fully underwritten pricing”
The Whys Behind Prostate Cancer Screening
Insurance blood testing for most, if not all, insurers includes a PSA (prostate specific antigen) test in males above a certain age range. Unlike testing for diabetes or kidney or liver disease, however, the PSA test is more controversial. It allows insurers to price more aggressively with a favorable result and requires more investigation with a questionable one.
Active Surveillance May be Appropriate for Intermediate-Risk Prostate Cancer
Researchers have suggested that patients with favorable intermediate-risk prostate cancer could be treated with active surveillance, similar to the way in which patients with low-risk prostate cancer currently can be.
Prostate Cancer: Effective Underwriting For A Common Impairment
Most men with prostate cancer die with the disease rather than of it. This is important to note, especially considering that today’s screening tests may pick up many potentially lower-risk cases.