Colon Cancer: The Ultimate Guide

We help colon cancer survivors find affordable life insurance.

Our underwriting process provides you with feedback in days from life insurers that specialize in high-risk life insurance.

How Does Colon Cancer Affect Life Insurance?

The availability of life insurance after your cancer is based on:

  • Your age at the time of diagnosis
  • Colon cancer stage
  • Treatment received
  • Time since completion of treatment.

If the colon cancer has come back (recurred), that will factor into underwriting as well.

In general, people diagnosed with colon cancer after the age of 65 receive more favorable rates than those who were diagnosed under age 65.

Colorectal cancer consists of colon cancer (large intestine) and rectal cancer (the last few inches of the colon).

From an underwriting perspective, rectal and colon cancer follow similar underwriting guidelines.

Colon Cancer Life Insurance Questions

Life insurers need to know the following:

  • When were you diagnosed with colon cancer?
  • What stage was the colon cancer?
  • What grade was the colon cancer?
  • Were any lymph nodes involved? If yes, how many and location?
  • Did cancer spread to any other organs? Where did it spread?
  • What type of treatment did you receive? Surgery, chemo, radiation?
  • What were the start and finish dates of all treatments?
  • Has there been any recurrence?
  • Have you completed all the follow-ups with your physician?
  • When was your last colonoscopy and what were the results?
  • What was your CEA level, if known?
  • Is there any family history of colon cancer with your parents or siblings?
  • Have you had any other health issues in the past or currently?

The best insurers for life insurance after cancer will depend on your history and current health.

Other factors that may affect your life insurance rates include any history of other medical conditions such as,

Any history of irritable bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s.

Life Insurance by Colon Cancer Stage

Life insurance underwriting for colon cancer survivors continues to improve, with a number of carriers now offering affordable life insurance.

Underwriting is more favorable for those who were diagnosed at age 65 or older.

Colon Polyps

Many colon polyps are not cancerous, but there are certain types such as adenomas that may turn into colorectal cancer.

If the polyp has been removed and pathology shows that it’s benign, there is no additional rating added to your life insurance.

If the polyp is cancerous, underwriting will be based on the following colon cancer rules.

Stage 0 – Cancer in Situ

Abnormal cells are found in the innermost lining or mucosa layer.

These abnormal cells may become cancerous.

It is now possible to get life insurance at a “standard” rate within 12 months of completing treatment.

The same ratings apply whether you were diagnosed before or after age 65.

Stage 1 Colon Cancer

Stage 1 colon cancer has spread beyond the innermost layer of your colon to the middle layers of the colon wall.

There is no lymph node involvement.

Life insurers will postpone offering life insurance for 12-24 months.

When life insurance is available, carriers will consider their “standard” rates plus an additional expense called a flat extra.

Flat extras are temporary and add $500 – $750 per every $100,000 of coverage you buy.

Stage 2 Colon Cancer

Stage 2 colon cancer has spread into the outer layer of the colon wall and in some cases may have spread to nearby tissue or other organs.  

No lymph nodes are involved.

Stage 2 colon cancers are indicated as Stage 2A, Stage 2B or Stage 2C.

Stage 2A Colon Cancer

Postpone periods run 12-60 months after completing all treatment.

Once the postpone period is over,

Life insurers will consider their standard rates plus a flat extra expense of $750 – $1000 per every $100,000 of coverage you purchase.

Stage 2B Colon Cancer

Postpone periods tend to run 24-60 months after completing treatment.

Flat extra expenses will typically be $1000 or more per every $100,000 of coverage you consider.

Stage 2C Colon cancers follow the underwriting rules for Stage 3 colon cancers.

Stage 3 Colon Cancer

Cancers have spread to at least 1 lymph node and possibly more depending on whether the cancer is stage 3A, 3B, or 3C.

The best-case scenario is typically a 5-year postponement (2 years for age 65+). 

The best case means 2 or fewer lymph nodes and a normal CEA level.

Once coverage is available, a permanent table rating is added to the standard rate,

And flat extra expenses of $1000 per every $100,000 of coverage are common.

In our experience, most stage 3 colon cancers will receive a postpone period of 10 years or longer due to the severity of cancer.

A guaranteed issue life insurance policy may be the best option initially.

Stage 4 Colon Cancer

The only option for stage 4 colon cancer is a guaranteed issue life insurance policy.

With this type of policy, the death benefit is graded during the first few years of the policy.

How Our Colon Cancer Life Insurance Underwriting Service Works

Life insurance companies have their own criteria for underwriting colon cancer, and underwriting offers vary widely.

With our quick quote process, we’ll gather your detailed medical history from you. 

We then shop out to life insurance companies on an anonymous basis for feedback.

It takes about 3 days to hear from all the companies.

At that time, we’ll review quotes with you and help you decide on the type of life insurance and the amount of life insurance to apply for.

If you change your mind at any time, simply tell us to close your file.  There is never any pressure or obligation with our service.

Colon Cancer Terms and Definitions

Colon cancer is classified according to a cancer staging system using either the Duke’s Colon Cancer Staging or the TNM cancer staging system.

TNM staging is the current cancer staging system used although you may see the Duke’s system on pathology reports if you were diagnosed years ago.

TNM cancer staging system uses numbers and letters to indicate the extent of colon cancer:

A comparison of TNM Staging to Duke’s:

“T” stands for the size and stage of the cancer tumor.

“N” Indicates the number of lymph nodes involved.

“M” indicates if cancer has spread (metastasized).

Colon Cancer Staging Comparison - Duke's vs TNM

In addition to the TNM classification of colon cancer, pathology will indicate if the colon cancer was:

  • Adenocarcinoma (the most common type)
  • Carcinoid tumor
  • Stromal Tumor

Colon cancer grade indicates how quickly cancer may grow.

Colon cancers are divided into 3 grades:

  • Well Differentiated (Low Grade)
  • Moderately Differentiated (Intermediate Grade)
  • Poorly Differentiated (High Grade)

When multiple grades are indicated on the pathology report, underwriting is based on the highest grade.

Please take a few minutes to complete your no-pressure, no-obligation quote request today.

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