A Blood Test Can’t Detect Cancer, Can It?
We began 2018 with some promising news on cancer: A simple blood test can now detect disease in eight common sites. Called the CancerSEEK test, it was developed at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, and may herald a new age in cancer medicine
How ‘Critical’ is Low Risk Prostate Cancer?
Insurers design critical illness policies with the intention being to cover medical conditions that are likely to have a life-changing impact on the life insured, with payment alleviating financial pressure as recovery and adjustment to an altered way of life take place. Should insurers include lower risk prostate cancer in such products or are they well positioned to exclude these altogether, considering the favorable outcome?
RGA ReFlections Vol 37
The latest issue of RGA’s global medical newsletter includes the following articles:
- Critical Illness Insurance: A Medical Perspective
- Cervical Cancer Update
- Longer Life Foundation
- ReCite: Interesting and relevant articles in insurance medicine
- Recent Webcasts
“One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer”; Changing Recommendations on Safe Levels of Alcohol
Increasing concerns over morbidity and mortality rates from alcohol use, and the cost to the NHS of treating associated problems, has led the UK Chief Medical Officer to propose new guidelines to minimize health and accident risks. The take home message is that there is no longer a “safe” level of alcohol – the implication being that anyone who discloses drinking any alcohol is at risk. Does this mean those who drink alcohol should be treated differently by insurers?
The Rise and Rise of Childhood Mental Disorders: Overdiagnosis or Epidemic?
Diagnostic fashions are of keen interest to life and health insurance practitioners because they challenge current and traditional underwriting practice. The methodical processes by which risk selection guidelines are updated make speedy reaction to abrupt changes in diagnostics or medical practice problematic.
The Impact of Different Screening Scenarios on Breast Cancer Incidence
The trend of cancer incidences is one of the key questions for developing critical illness (CI) and cancer insurance products with a sustainable price. One of the identified (risk) factors is the availability and/or introduction of screening programs for cancer, which will impact the level of detection of early cancers and can lead to strong increases in incidences. Among the common cancer screenings available, breast cancer is one of the key cancer types representing around 25% of all female cancer incidences.
Workers Who Risk Their Skin
If the term “occupational skin disease” conjures images of blackened mediaeval life or besmutted workers toiling at industrial revolution-era machines, then think again. There are over 3,000 known diseases of the skin and many are just as contemporary as the people who suffer with them.
Thyroid Cancer and Critical Illness – Incidentally Speaking
The thyroid is a physically insignificant endocrine gland located in the neck anterior to the trachea. Cancer of the thyroid has historically been uncommon, yet incidence rates have been increasing dramatically worldwide over the past 20 years. A corresponding increase in thyroid cancer claims has also been observed in Critical Illness (CI) insurance over the past decade.
Not to Be Sneezed at – The Threat From Infectious Disease
The range of infectious diseases that cause distress, illness and death remains truly staggering. Malaria, pneumonia, HIV, meningitis, plague, yellow fever, cholera, influenza and most recently Ebola continue to influence not only individuals but the economic and social life within large regions of the world. Most countries have experienced epidemics of one form or another over the past decade. The majority has been contained, but the H1N1 influenza outbreak of 2009 briefly demonstrated the potential for global reach.
Thyroid Cancer - Critical Threat?
Strong arguments support cancer screening in a clinical setting, but for insurers offering Critical Illness (CI) policies it could mean they receive claims for tiny tumors that are anything but serious. Affordable access to sensitive imaging technology has the potential to drive a massive rise in the numbers of insignificant cancers being detected.