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Life insurance for someone who has had anal cancer

Most people who’ve had cancer in the past, don’t think that they’re ever going to get life cover again. This isn’t the case and the good news is that it’s generally available from two years after treatment has ended.

A cancer diagnosis is an extremely traumatic time for anyone, especially if you have a young family. Hopefully, most people were financially prepared and had taken out critical illness cover beforehand, or have savings. If not then it can also be incredibly stressful financially too.

All types of cancer will have some sort of impact on your ability to work and your long term finances. If you’ve had cancer such as anal cancer in the past, then you might want to consider making sure you’re prepared for the future.

We are the UK’s #1 life insurance experts for people with pre-existing medical conditions. Our team of experts has helped thousands of customers to protect their families, including people who’ve had cancer.



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Doctors are still unsure about the actual root cause of cancer, but there are some contributing factors. In the case of anal cancer, the things that can increase your risk of developing it include:

  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection – this is a common and often harmless virus that is spread through sexual intercourse, that can affect the membranes lining the body
  • Sexual intercourse – it is believed that anal sex with multiple partners has a possible increase on your risk of developing HPV
  • History of cancer – a history of cervical, vaginal and vulval cancers can increase the risk of developing this type of cancer
  • Smoking
  • Immune system weakness – for example, someone who has been diagnosed with HIV

Your risk of developing anal cancer increases significantly as you get older. Approximately 50% of all anal cancer diagnoses are in people age 65 plus. The risks of being diagnosed with anal cancer is also higher in women than men.

How common is cancer in the UK?

  • There are 3,000,000 current cases of cancer in the UK
  • There are 375,000 new cases of cancer diagnosed each year
  • Every 90 seconds someone is diagnosed with cancer

In most cases with anal cancer, the tumour is treated with chemotherapy and radiotherapy over a period of time. If this is the case then you should be able to get life cover from most insurers after two years.

If you’ve had surgery to remove the tumour, then you might find that it could be sooner. Surgery isn’t a common treatment for anal cancer because the tumour is often small. In some cases where chemotherapy hasn’t worked then there may be another more complicated surgery called abdominoperineal resection.

Once you’ve had surgery or if you’ve completed treatment, you can speak to iam|INSURED at this stage as there are options. Our process is to provide a guaranteed life cover product soon after treatment or surgery.

Guaranteed life cover is not expensive and provides vital cover in the early years after treatment of cancer. This type of cover will exclude the pre-existing medical condition but will cover everything else, which is important.

Some of the questions you’ll be asked when you apply for life insurance

Here are some examples of the types of questions that you might be asked when you apply for life cover after diagnosis of anal cancer:

  • What was the grade and stage of cancer?
  • Has cancer reoccurred?
  • Did cancer spread outside of the anus?
  • Where did cancer spread to (lymph nodes)?
  • Have you completed chemotherapy and radiotherapy?
  • When did your treatment end?

Questions can be different from one insurer to another so these can vary depending on which company we apply to.

Is critical illness cover available for someone with anal cancer?

Because cancer is the most common claim for critical illness, it’s sometimes difficult to get this type of cover. The reason is that you’ll usually be offered cover which would exclude cancer so it’s difficult to justify.

Insurers will try to offer cover and some may be able to offer something with fewer exclusions in some cases. The offer will depend on the level of severity of cancer (e.g. Grade & Stage) and how long ago it occurred.

In some instances where the diagnosis was several years ago and the tumour was removed, then you might have a selection of offers. If the cancer was more recent and slightly more aggressive, then the outcome could be very different.

Can I get income protection after having anal cancer?

There are some situations where you might be able to get income protection if you’ve had anal cancer. The main points to consider if you’ve had any type of cancer and you now want to take out income protection are:

  • How aggressive was cancer? – usually lower grade and stage cancers have a greater chance of getting covered
  • When did cancer occur? – if cancer occurred several years ago and hasn’t re-occurred then you should be able to get cover
  • What about other policies? – there are other types of income protection you can take which will exclude anal cancer and other cancers for 12 months

There are lots of options and things to consider for income protection so it’s good to speak to an expert like iam|INSURED before you jump in.

Frequently asked questions about anal cancer

What are the symptoms of anal cancer?Common symptoms of anal cancer include:

Itching and pain
Small lumps around and inside the bottom
Mucus discharge
Bowel incontinence

It is also possible for symptoms to be minor or you may have no symptoms at all.
Can I get life insurance with anal cancer?If you have cancer currently your options may be more limited but there should still be some form of cover available.

Speak to a life insurance expert to find out what your best options for cover are.
Do I need to tell life insurance about cancer?YES – You need to declare any medical conditions you have when you apply for life insurance. If you don’t, you risk your policy being invalid and not paying out.
What is the life expectancy for anal cancer?According to Cancer Research UK, the life expectancy for anal cancer is:

Almost 85% of people (85 in 100) live for 1 or more years following an anal cancer diagnosis.

Almost 60% of people (60 in 100) live for 5 or more years following an anal cancer diagnosis.

Almost 50% of people (50 in 100) live for 10 or more years following an anal cancer diagnosis.

More information – Average life expectancy UK

Useful resources

iam|INSURED – Cancer Survival Rates and Critical Illness Cover

iam|INSURED – Facts and Figures about Cervical Cancer

Macmillan Cancer Support – Get Help

Cancer Support UK – About Us

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