This April is #BowelCancerAwarenessMonth
From Monday 1st April to Tuesday 30th April we, and many other companies and charities around the country, will be recognising and raising awareness for bowel cancer.
According to statistics, 42,000 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer each year in the UK; making it the nation’s 4th most common cancer with 1 in 15 men and 1 in 18 women being diagnosed in their lifetime. Around 16,000 people die each year from bowel cancer, however, if these were caught earlier there is a very high chance that they would have survived.
Here is a brief list of some of the warning signs to help you catch it early:
- Change in bowel habits i.e. constipation or diarrhoea for longer than 4 weeks
- Blood in your stool/bleeding from your bottom
- Persistent abdominal discomfort i.e. cramps, gas or pain or a lump in your stomach
- Unexplained weight loss
- Unexplained extreme tiredness
As well as the warning signs, here are some tips to reduce your risk of bowel cancer:
- Eat a high-fibre diet
- Eat less processed meat
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Don’t smoke
- Drink less alcohol
- Be active
If you would like more info or support, charities like Bowel Cancer UK (https://www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/) provide a lot of resources to help you.
Bowel cancer and life insurance
Unfortunately, cancer and life insurance don’t mix very well, and it is very difficult to give you a definite answer as to whether you will be able to get cover or not, and what the price will be. This is due to the fact that it varies from case to case and is worked out on an individual basis. However, there are some generic common denominators with each bowel cancer life insurance case, as explained below.
Firstly, no matter what stage of cancer you have, you will unfortunately not be able to get cover if the disease is still present, or you are still receiving treatment. However, we do offer some guaranteed acceptance policies that provide life cover to people without the need to answer any medical questions. These policies area good interim measure to provide some protection to you, but you should be aware they they will exclude any pre-existing conditions from the cover. So, it will exclude cancer from your cover but will mean that you will be covered from anything else, for example if you were to unfortunately die from a heart attack you will be covered (providing you don’t have any previous heart conditions).
If you have recovered from bowel cancer, you will probably have to go through a postponement period, a minimum of 2/3 years after treatment, before you can get bowel cancer life insurance without being declined. The length of time you have to wait depends on the stage of your cancer and the level of treatment that you had. For example, if you had stage 4 cancer and had extensive chemotherapy, radiotherapy, medications etc. insurance companies will see this as a bigger risk to your health and will want to wait to make sure that the cancer shows no signs of returning. Furthering this, you should expect to have higher premiums than standard cases due to the risk of returning that bowel cancer poses.
Other information that the insurance companies will require is a full medical report from your GP, this is so that they can assess your health and see how high risk you are for the cancer recurring.
This may all seem like it is impossible or at the very least difficult to get bowel cancer life insurance, which to be quite honest it is. However, we will try our best to get you some form of cover so that you can have peace of mind and so that you can get the cover that you deserve. A final point to add is that, although it may seem tempting, you should not refrain from disclosing all relevant information to insurance providers as if they were to discover that you were not fully honest with them, you risk them cancelling your bowel cancer life insurance policy and you will be left vulnerable.
The Insurance Surgery are the leading bowel cancer life insurance experts!
For more information about the topics discussed above, call 0800 083 2829 to speak to one of our amazing advisors and to see what we can do for you.
Other useful links that may help you are: