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Cervical Cancer

I Have Cervical Cancer. Now What?
Any type of cancer is a serious issue when applying for life insurance. You should expect the application process to take longer than normal since the insurance company will need time to review your medical records and history. Also, you should expect your rates to be higher than they would be for a normal, healthy adult. How much higher will depend on how the life underwriter evaluates your situation and rates the severity of your cancer. Most minor cases of cervical cancer (called Stage 0 or Stage 1 by the National Cancer Institute) will be underwritten soon after the completion of treatment with either low table ratings, possibly standard ratings, or with temporary flat extras. As the severity of the cancer increases, so do the ratings and thus the rates for life insurance to the point where a Stage 4 cancer is probably uninsurable.

Cervical Cancer's Effect on Insurance Rates
Here is a guide to what sort of rates to expect for different cervical cancer scenarios.

National Cancer Institute Stage


Expected Ratings

Stage 0

Carcinoma in situ; cancer detected early; cancer located in first layers of cells in cervix

Standard after successful removal of the cancerous cells

Stage 1A

Cancer throughout cervix; some cancer deeper in cervix tissue

Standard through Table 2 plus $7/$1000 for three years

Stage 1B

Cancer throughout cervix; more cancer deeper in cervix tissue

Standard through Table 2 plus $7/$1000 for five years

Stage 2A

Cancer spread beyond cervix; located in upper two thirds of the vagina

Postponement for one year following surgery; then Standard through Table 2 plus $7/$1000 for five years

Stage 2B

Cancer in tissue around cervix

Postponement for three years following surgery; Standard through Table 2 plus $10/$1000 for five years

Stage 3A

Cancer in pelvis; has not extended to the pelvic wall

Postponement for five years following surgery; Standard through Table 2 plus $15/$1000 for five years

Stage 3B

Cancer has extended to pelvic wall

Case by case consideration

Stage 4

Cancer has spread to distant organs


More Information on Cervical Cancer
This type of cancer is one of the most common for types for women. In the late 90's nearly 67,000 in situ (which is early stage and non-invasive) and 17,000 invasive cases of cervical cancer were diagnosed in the United States. Nearly 5000 women died from cervical cancer during this same period.

Most women today have an annual physical examination, in which physician observation along with laboratory analysis often provide an early warning for potential cervical cancer. Thus, as indicated by the above numbers, many of the cervical cancer cases diagnosed today are Stage 0 or Stage 1 cancers, which can usually be successfully treated.

Like other types of cancer, cervical cancer is graded and staged based on its size, spread, and other factors. The grading and staging is assessed by studying the abnormal cancer cells and the findings are reported in the pathology report. The severity of the cancer will determine the type of treatment used. These treatments range from traditional surgery to conization (wedge shaped cervix tissue removed) and from cryosurgery (liquid nitrogen or carbon dioxide used to destroy tumor via freezing) to hysterectomy (removal of complete reproductive organ). Treatments can also include more standard methods such as chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

Important Things to Know for Those with Cervical Cancer

What are some of the issues that interest underwriters?

  • When was the cancer first diagnosed?

  • How was it graded and staged?

  • Has it been successfully treated?

  • What type of treatment was used?

  • Have there been signs of recurrence?

  • Do you regularly follow up with your doctor for routine examinations?


What can I do to help the underwriting process?

The most important piece of information will be your pathology report, so make sure you include a copy of this for the life insurance company to look at. Also provide all contact information for your treating physicians and medical facilities.

Complete the following form, or call us toll-free at 888-854-7526 if you would like to speak with someone or get more information.

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