OREANDA-NEWS. April 08, 2016. For many men over a certain age, getting an annual physical exam is no big deal. Except for one particular test. And if you’re a male, you know what test I’m talking about. Your doctor usually leaves this test for last. (Doctors have a warped sense of humor.) You know it’s coming because all you hear is the snap of a rubber glove, followed by the time-honored phrase: “Now cough!” Yes, I am referring to the physical (commonly called a Digital Rectal Exam or “DRE”) test for prostate cancer. Though slightly uncomfortable, this test is quite useful in detecting the early stages of the second most common form of cancer in men (after skin cancer).

Typically, there are no early symptoms for prostate cancer, which is typically a slow-growth disease. Most men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer are over age 65. The disease is more common in African-American males than in white males.

The prostate is a small, walnut-shaped gland that is situated just below the bladder and right in front of the rectum. (How’s that for a road map?) The most common blood test to detect early-stage prostate cancer is the PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) test. A PSA level of 4.0 ng/mL and lower is considered to be normal. Conversely, a PSA level above 4.0 ng/mL should be cause for concern. Most doctors recommend that men over age 50 get a PSA test once a year.

If a patient has a higher-than-normal PSA level, that patient’s doctor might suggest performing a biopsy on the prostate. The tissue sample would then be analyzed and if cancer cells are present, they are given a “Gleason Score” to determine the severity and stage of the cancer. The lower the score, the less advanced/serious the cancer.

The good news is that many men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer have been treated successfully and go on to live productive lives. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 2 million men in the U.S. are considered to be prostate cancer survivors. And many have been able to purchase life insurance.

For prostate cancer patients who are seeking to purchase life insurance, underwriters are looking for a Gleason Score that is below 7. They would also be looking to see what type of medical treatment or procedure the applicant has had regarding this disease. Treatments for prostate cancer range from a radical prostatectomy (which removes the prostate entirely) to traditional radiation therapy to radiation seed implantation. There will be more favorable offers if the patent has undergone a radical prostatectomy than the latter two options.

To find out more on this subject, watch this short, informative video. Howard Weissman, AccuQuote’s Medical Underwriting Expert, will tell you more about how you may be able to qualify to buy life insurance – even if you have prostate cancer.

Everyone who has ANYONE depending on them financially needs life insurance. It’s a great, affordable way to help safeguard your family’s financial future when you die. And if you think you’re going to live forever, the last time we checked, the odds of death are still 1 out of ONE. (We’re good with math.)

Questions? Feel free to reach out to us anytime. And you’ll speak to a real person! (Amazing, huh?) We take the stress out of shopping for life insurance. And we won’t ask you to cough. Promise.

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