Did you know that your chances of developing cancer are largely due to your DNA?
Last month, CMS (the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid) announced that Medicare can now cover genetic testing for cancer (as long as tests are FDA-approved). If you are aware of your chances of developing cancer early on, you can watch for it and be better prepared. Plus, cancer is almost always easier to cure when caught early on.
Is Cancer Hereditary?
Not necessarily. Scientists believe that inherited DNA only gives you about a 5 to 10% chance of developing cancer. The rest of your chance of developing cancer usually comes from your environment. Genetic testing looks for mutations in your DNA that reflect a chance of developing cancer. DNA mutation does not mean that you will definitely develop cancer, but it means that there is a chance that you will.
Genetic Testing For Cancer
Genetic testing is non-invasive. Sometimes it involves a simple cheek swab, and sometimes (depending on the test), the tester may need to draw blood. You may be able to complete a genetic test at home, but speak to your doctor first.
If you have any family history of cancer, or if you have lived in an environment with harmful chemicals or heavy smoke, it may be a good idea to seek out genetic testing. Always speak with your doctor before making these types of decisions. A doctor who knows your medical history may tell you that it’s not necessary or may encourage testing.
Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) will cover hospital costs and doctor visits, and Medicare Part D will cover prescription drugs. However, cancer treatments generally are not kind on your piggy bank. You can purchase a Medicare Advantage plan that combines Part A, Part B, and Part D all into one plan. Then, purchase an additional cancer policy to cover extra items like physical therapy, ambulance transportation, surgeries, and replacement of lost income.
Cancer policies are usually reimbursement policies. The carrier will send you a check upon your diagnosis. That means that you can use your coverage for anything. If your family history or genetic testing tells you that you are at a high risk of developing cancer, you may want to invest in a cancer policy now so that you can be more financially prepared.
Our agents can help you decide what policies are best for you. Set up a free appointment by calling us at 833-438-3676.