Understanding the Genetics of Cancer
Complicated pathology reports can contain significant amounts of genetic information. It has become vital for insurance company medical directors, underwriters, and claims professionals to understand "driver mutations" present in, or absent from, a tumor's genome, well as targeted therapies and their mechanisms. This article will examine how genetics contributes to cancer development, treatment, and prognosis.
Medical Underwriting: Global Health Brief – Liquid Biopsy
Liquid biopsies are noninvasive tests that could potentially lead to early detection of cancer by identifying the genetic material cancerous tumors shed into the bloodstream and other bodily fluids. It is now possible to test for biomarkers such as circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA). As these tests gain a foothold in clinical practice, insurance professionals must understand liquid biopsies and the implications for underwriting and product development.
Cancer Mortality Patterns in Insured Lives
For life insurers, a major source of mortality risk mitigation is prudent underwriting at the time of application, which should ultimately reduce future claim costs. One way to refine the underwriting process is through measuring the impact of underwriting using insurance claims experience.
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.
Cancer Risks: Are We Getting Them Right?
Researching cancer mortality over the past few months has proved to be a bit of an eye-opener, and in three ways: firstly the level of excess mortality seen in a number of cancers, secondly the duration over which an extra risk persists, and thirdly that excess mortality may extend over a considerable period.
Advances in Cancer Research and Insurance
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) was created more than 50 years ago to foster global collaboration on cancer control. Today more effective therapies mean mortality rates no longer reflect incidence rates; there are now more cancer survivors partly due to advances that enable early diagnosis.
Genomics Is Changing the Rules for Underwriting Breast Cancer Patients
We have made great progress in the battle against breast cancer: improved screening and treatment have produced a 30% reduction in mortality over the last two decades. Better still, continued advances in genomics are opening entirely new possibilities that hold the promise of not only improved outcomes, but an eventual cure. For life and health insurers, it is time to reexamine how we underwrite applicants with a history of breast cancer.