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What’s A Stage Without A Grade?

We know that occasionally life insurance clients feel like we’re just never satisfied with the amount of information they provide, especially when it comes to cancer diagnosis and treatment risk analysis. We’ve even been told that they are going to go with another agent because that agent didn’t require them to provide so much information. We’re aware, especially when you’re dealing with cancer that may have happened a long time ago, that remembering the stage and grade isn’t necessarily something that occupies important brain space.

But that’s why doctors and oncologists and pathologists are required to keep records for a long time. Think of it this way. What if you were diagnosed with cancer again and your treating physician needed to know the history of your prior cancer? Would you just leave it at not remembering or would you do all you could to track down the information and make sure you provided everything you were asked for? Just like that information is important to a doctor, a life insurance underwriter assessing a cancer history risk has to know both the stage and the grade. An agent working to find you the best possible rate needs that same information because our trial quotes come from underwriters.

In the case of prostate cancer it’s one thing to know that the Gleason score was 3+3=6. That’s the grading of the cancer, but was it a stage T1 or T2 or T1b. Even better is knowing the complete TNM staging.

  • T describes the size of the original (primary) tumor and whether it has invaded nearby tissue,
  • N describes nearby (regional) lymph nodes that are involved,
  • M describes distant metastasis (spread of cancer from one part of the body to another).

In the quest for the best possible life insurance trial offer there really is no such thing as providing too much information and the problem with cancer pathology is that the reports themselves sometimes provide all an underwriter needs to know and sometimes they come up short. It’s these times when we ask clients to go the extra mile and call the office to get the missing information. There isn’t any appointment needed. Your treating doctor should be more than obliging in making sure you have all you need to know.

So, rather than fussing about an agent that wants more details, fuss at the agent that is willing to quote without the details. They are the ones in the end that won’t come through with a policy approved as quoted and will very likely not get you the best possible rate for your situation.

If you have any questions or have been run over with a decline because an agent didn’t want to bother you with homework, call or email us directly.  We can help.

About the Author

Every year millions are needlessly declined for life insurance or approved and paying far more than they need to. For 14 years, I have specialized in turning those situations around and finding the right life insurance solution at affordable rates. I give every client the personal attention they deserve.

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