Cancer is a complex and diverse group of diseases characterized by the uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells. It affects millions worldwide and can be life-altering, not only for patients but also for their ability to maintain full-time employment. In this article, we will delve into what cancer is, explore some common types of cancer, and discuss the various ways it can disable someone from engaging in full-time work.
Cancer begins when healthy cells undergo genetic changes that cause them to grow and divide uncontrollably, forming a mass or tumor. These tumors can be either benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Malignant tumors have the potential to invade nearby tissues and spread to other parts of the body through the bloodstream or lymphatic system, a process known as metastasis.
Most insurers will recognize the need for at least some time off from work during the active treatment of cancer. Most disability insurance denials come after the immediate treatment is complete and the insurer decides that the patient “should” be able to go back to work. Cancer survivors can have a number of ongoing symptoms related to their prior treatments that require restrictions and limitations related to work. They also may have long-term maintenance therapy with drugs that continue to cause exhaustion and cognitive deficits. Because cancer can reoccur and the maintenance treatment for it can span years, these cases are often susceptible to denials based on a pre-existing condition if the insured tries to change jobs.
Insurance companies actively seek reasons to deny claims. Even with something as indisputable as a cancer diagnosis, they will try to find ways to argue that you are not sufficiently sick. Understand that you do not need to accept their determination. Courts generally agree that chemotherapy and other forms of maintenance treatment for cancer cause fatigue, cognitive issues and other side effects that are disabling. Disability from cancer does not always end when the immediate treatment ends.
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