Cancer risks: Are we getting them right?

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Researching cancer mortality over the past few months has proved to be a bit of an eye-opener, and in three ways: firstly the level of excess mortality seen in a number of cancers, secondly the duration over which an extra risk persists, and thirdly that excess mortality may extend over a considerable period. Some of the high excess death rates (EDRs) were noted stage II/III disease, where mortality was substantially higher than in localised. For example, from the US Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Program1 relating to diagnoses between 2006 and 2012: Cervical cancer: five-year relative survival for localised…

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Turning the world on its head

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Turning the world of insurance on its head, that is. We are just back from the Society of Actuaries’ annual ‘Underwriting Issues and Innovations’ seminar in Chicago, where we go to learn what is happening in what one might call paradoxical North American markets where underwriting sophistication and tradition have very different meanings compared with most other places. In North America, and in the US especially, underwriting to the nth degree via blood and urine tests for purposes of preferred-life categorisation is still king and advanced underwriting engines are a rarity. But things are changing, and in two ways. One, insurers…

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