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Take Your High PSA Seriously!

This morning I was informed that a gentleman who has applied for life insurance through my firm has prostate cancer. He had no knowledge of any prostate problems when he had applied. He took his insurance exam, and the PSA was very high. The carrier automatically declined him. He then did the right thing: he got the results, went to his doctor, got a biopsy, and found the cancer. It is a low stage, and treatment will be starting soon. Under these circumstances, there is reason to be optimistic that he will be “cured.”

Here are some interesting points to note about this story:

1) He had not seen a doctor in two years. At his age (mid fifties), annual checkups are essential precisely for making sure a sickness is not developing.

2) When he had seen a doctor a few years ago, his PSA was borderline high. The doctor shrugged it off as “getting older.” Don’t you think the doctor should have requested a follow-up soon to monitor the situation?

3) This is the sixth year in a row in which an applicant for life insurance through my firm found out he has prostate cancer. They were all initially declined due to lab results. They all went to their doctor with those results. In a few of those cases the physician didn’t take those results seriously and actually tried to artificially lower the PSA without doing any diagnostic test. In one of those cases the doctor finally did a biopsy and found stage 4 cancer. Too bad he had wasted all that time trying to monkey around with the lab results.

The good news here is that people who recover successfully from prostate cancer can eventually qualify for life insurance, and at a good rate. I am hoping to do business with this gentleman; not only that, he is a good friend and I want the best for him and his family.

I hope his experience can serve as a reminder to us all to take a high PSA seriously.