The American Cancer Society tells us that 1 out of every 7 men in the US will develop prostate cancer in their lifetime. Prostate cancer is second only to skin cancer as the most common cancer in American men. As the second leading cause of death in American men, prostate cancer has a reputation as an infamous killer. One out of every 36 men will die from prostate cancer, and about 2.5 million prostate cancer survivors are in the United States today.
In 2014, it’s estimated that 233,000 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed, and 29,480 men will succumb to their disease. 60 percent of new diagnoses are in men over the age of 65. Three quarters of men in their 80’s are diagnosed with prostate cancer. It’s very rare for men under 40 years of age to develop prostate cancer.
What is Prostate Cancer? PSA Levels?
One reason life insurance companies make applicants take a paramend exam is to test blood profiles for certain red flags. Abnormal PSA levels in your blood can throw up major red flags for a life insurance underwriter. All to often males don’t have regular checkups to test for potential health problems. So in order to make a wise underwriting decision, the life insurance companies underwriter’s will look at PSA level, among other things to determine if you can qualify for life insurance.
Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is a substance made by cells in the prostate gland (both normal cells and cancer cells). PSA is mainly found in semen, but a small quantity is also found in the blood, which life insurance companies will test for in your blood profile during the paramed exam.
Most healthy men have levels under 4 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) of blood. The chance of having prostate cancer goes up as your PSA levels go up.
Once a PSA reading of 4.0 or higher is seen, typically the Dr. will request a biopsy be done to determine if there are signs of cancer.
As well, if your free range PSA levels are low (anywhere from 10%-25%) your Dr. will request a biopsy to further diagnose. A lower percent-free PSA means that your probability of having prostate cancer is greater and you should most likely have a biopsy.