Basal and Squamous Cell Skin Cancer.
In this article, we wanted to take a moment and try and answer some of the most common questions we get from folks applying for life insurance after having been diagnosed with Skin Cancer?
- Can I qualify for life insurance if I have been diagnosed with Skin Cancer?
- Why do life insurance companies care if I have been diagnosed with Skin Cancer?
- What kind of information will the insurance companies ask me or be interested in?
- What “rate” can I qualify for?
- What can I do to help ensure that I get the “best life insurance” for me?
So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!
Can I qualify for life insurance if I have been diagnosed with Skin Cancer?
Yes, individuals who have been diagnose with skin cancer can and often will be able to qualify for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy. In fact, they may even be able to qualify for a Preferred rate when applying for a no exam term life insurance policy.
The problem is…
That the term “skin cancer” can be used to describe a variety of different conditions which can and often will be treated quite differently from one another by most of the top rated life insurance companies so it’s important to understand what “kind” of skin cancer you’ve been diagnosed with as well as the number of occasions/spots you were diagnosed with as well.
Why do life insurance companies care if I have been diagnosed with Skin Cancer?
It’s fair to say that any time an individual has been diagnosed with “cancer”, most (if not all) life insurance companies are going to want to know about it. Which is why it shouldn’t come as any surprise that if you have been diagnosed with skin cancer in the past, you’re likely to be asked a few questions about it prior to being approved for a life insurance policy.
The good news is…
That because most skin cancers are easily detected and treated, the fact that you have been diagnosed with skin cancer in the past shouldn’t play a major role (if any) in the outcome of your life insurance application. This is of course, once it has been determined that you are now cancer free and that you don’t seem to be at “risk” for developing any future cancers later on.
That said however…
Because there are several different “types” of skin cancers that an individual can suffer from, and because these different types will be “approached” differently by most life insurance companies, it makes sense to just take a moment and review what kinds of skin cancers an individual might be diagnosed with and just briefly discuss “how” a life insurance company is likely to view each type.
Skin Cancer Defined.
Skin cancer is a disease which is defined as the abnormal growth of cells within the skin. From there, depending on the “type” of cell which becomes cancerous, individuals will usually be given a more “specific” diagnosis.
The three most common types of skin cancer will include:
- Basal cell carcinoma:
- Which is the most common form of skin cancer, which will usually appear as a small, smooth, or waxy bump on the face, neck or ears or as a flat sometimes pink/red or brown colored “bruise” along one’s trunk or limbs.
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma:
- Is the second most common form of skin cancer, which can appear as a firm red “bump” or as a rough scaly flat lesion that can be “itchy” causing some folks to scratch or itch their lesion to the point where it may resemble a “scab”. These “types” of cancers will usually only appear on the parts of one’s body where they are frequently exposed to direct sunlight (although they can appear anywhere).
Basal Cell Carcinomas and Squamous Cell Carcinomas are usually grouped together and will commonly be referred to as “non-melanoma skin cancers” Fortunately because both of these “types” of skin cancers normally appear on parts of an individual’s body which are exposed to frequently sunlight, they are also one’s that will usually get “noticed” early on which makes them highly treatable which is evident by the cure rate of nearly 99%!
Which is why…
These “types” of skin cancers will receive very positive receptions from most (if not all) life insurance companies. Where we may run into some difficulty is when the “type” of skin cell that is affected by cancer isn’t a basal or squamous cell rather it is a melanocyte, which is the type of cell that provides one’s pigmentation. In cases like these the resulting cancer is called a Melanoma and is generally considered the “most dangerous” type of skin cancer of the three.
- A Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that will usually appear as a pigmented patch or bump. They may also “mole like” but upon close inspection (particularly by an expert) small irregularities will be evident. When trying to diagnose these “types” of cancers, the ABCD rule is often quite helpful.
- Asymmetry: does both half of the mole math the other? If not, get it checked out!
- Border: are the edges ragged or blurred? If so, get it checked out!
- Color: Are there uneven shades of brown, black, tan red, white or even blue? If so, get it check out!
- Diameter: Have you noticed any changes in size? If so, get it checked out!
The good news is…
That despite the fact that these “types” of skin cancers are considered the more dangerous kinds because of their ability to “travel” to other parts of the body, when diagnosed early, they too experience a very high survival rate.
“Which brings us to an important point that we think we ought to mention.”
If you think you have a medical issue, don’t use us or the internet to try and diagnose yourself. After all, if you do and you’re correct, you’re still going to need to see the doctor, and if you’re wrong, the time you spend being your own doctor could really cause great harm to yourself!
Nobody here at IBUSA is medically trained and we’re certainly not doctors. All we are is a bunch of life insurance agents who just happened to be really good at helping individual find and qualify for the life insurance that they’re looking for. So please don’t mistake any of the medical information that we talk about as medical advice because it’s not!
Trying to “prep” you for what it might be like to apply for a life insurance policy after you have been diagnosed with skin cancer… that’s it! Which brings us to our next topic which is…
What kind of information will the insurance companies ask me or be interested in?
- When were you first diagnosed with Skin Cancer?
- Who diagnosed your Skin Cancer? A general practitioner or a specialist?
- What kind of Skin Cancer where you diagnosed with?
- Basal Cell Carcinoma?
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma?
- How many “spots” or locations where diagnosed?
- What treatment options did you receive?
- Have you been prescribed any medications?
- Do you have any future treatments scheduled?
- Have you been diagnosed with any other “types” of cancers, or has your skin cancer metastasized to any other part of your body?
- Are you currently working now?
- In the past 12 months, have you applied for or received any form of disability benefits?
What “rate” can I qualify for?
Generally, what you’re going to find is that when it comes to understanding what kind of “rate” an individual might be able to qualify for after they have been diagnosed with skin cancer, most clients are typically going to fall into one of two different categories.
The first category…
Will be those who have been diagnosed with an “non-melanoma” type of skin cancer which will include both Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Basal Cell Carcinoma and those who have actually been diagnosed with a Melanoma.
Who will qualify for the “non-melanoma” category, what you’ll usually find is that their diagnoses of skin cancer usually won’t play any kind of significant role (if any at all), in the outcome of their life insurance application. This is of course provided that they are no longer receiving any kind of treatment for their condition and they have been ruled “cancer free”.
Or in other words…
For many individuals who have been diagnosed with a “non-melanoma” skin cancer lesion, it’s quite possible that the “rate” that you would have been able to qualify for PRIOR to your diagnosis will be the same “rate” that you would be able to qualify for AFTER your diagnosis.
As for those who have actually been diagnosed with a Melanoma, what you’re going to find is that they too may be able to qualify for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy, only now they may need to wait a minimum of 2 years from their last date of treatment before being considered eligible.
Because Melanoma’s have a tendency to metastasize, it’s quite possible that what may have started as “skin cancer” has now become more of a systemic problem which is why, it’s pretty much next to impossible to know for sure what “kind” of rate you might be able to qualify for or even if you will be able to qualify for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy at this time without first speaking with you directly and learning more about your situation.
The good news is…
That regardless of your situation, we here at IBUSA can help because we have tons of experience helping folks with all sorts of pre-existing medical conditions like yours and are committed to helping all of our clients find the “best” life insurance policy that they can qualify for. Which brings us to the last topic that we wanted to take a moment and discuss which is…
What can I do to help ensure that I get the “best life insurance” for me?
In our experience here at IBUSA, what we have found that usually the folks who seem to find the “best” life insurance policy for them are those that:
- Take their time reviewing their options.
- Ask a lot of questions.
And seek out those life insurance agents who not only have experience working with individuals who have been diagnosed with a wide variety of pre-existing medical conditions, but also have access to dozens of different life insurance companies so that when it comes time to helping a more “challenging” case, they don’t have to rely on a…
“One size fits all approach!”
The good news is that this is exactly what you’re going to find here at IBUSA!
Now will we be able to help out everyone who has been previously diagnosed with Skin Cancer?
No, probably not. But what we can tell you is that in addition to offering a wide variety of different term and whole life insurance policies, IBUSA has also worked very hard to establish relationships with many of the Best Burial Life Insurance Companies as well so that in the event that someone isn’t able to qualify for a traditional life insurance policy, chances are there may be some other “type” of product that you CAN qualify for.
So, if you’re ready to see what options might be available to you, just give us a call!