Model created to help life insurers calculate breast cancer survivors' risk of death

Barcelona, Spain: As early detection and treatment of breast cancer improves, more and more women are surviving the disease. However, they still face challenges, which include determining the moment when it might be reasonable to state they are “cured” of the disease, and obtaining life insurance.

“In the Netherlands, most applications for life insurance are accepted, but not for cancer survivors. A lot of former breast cancer patients are rejected for life insurance or subjected to higher insurance premiums,” said Ms Marissa van Maaren, a researcher at the Netherlands Comprehensive Cancer Organisation (Utrecht, The Netherlands), at the 11th European Breast Cancer Conference today (Thursday). “Others might not even apply for life insurance because they might think they do not have a chance of being accepted. Former cancer patients in other countries may face similar problems.

“At the request of the Dutch Association of Insurers and the Dutch Federation of Cancerpatient Organisations (NFK), we have created a model for predicting the extra risk of death of breast cancer patients and survivors for up to ten years after their diagnosis. Importantly, this model takes into account that survival rates improve as each year passes by. This should provide patients and their clinicians with increased


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