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When does the 5 year start getting counted?

christinecarl's picture
Posts: 545
Joined: Sep 2009

Hello Everyone,

I am wondering when they start counting the 5 year thing? The date of diagnosis, when chemo ends, your 1st 3 month checkup? The reason I am asking, is I want to someday sign up for disability insurance, since I did not have it when I was diagnosed. We have Aflac coming to my work soon and I was just wondering if anyone knows. Yes I know I have a ways to go to get there, just trying to plan ahead this time.

lesvanb's picture
Posts: 911
Joined: May 2008

I've heard doctors say the day you're diagnosed, the day you are declared NED, after adjuvant chemo ends... I haven't googled it so that might be helpful. I would think that for disability the day you're diagnosed would be appropriate. Wish I could be of more help...

all the best, Leslie

Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi Christine

The 5 year clock begins anytime that you have a clear scan and show no evidence of disease. So, for example, let's say you get a clear scan next time you go in - you have to have clear scans for the next 5 years with NO RECURRENCE for that mark to stick.

That's what makes it such a remarkable goal to attain, and one that really matters in its validity. Medically and clinically, this is the time frame that the medical community considers you cured. Recurrence can always occur, but if you can put the five years behind you, your odds really increase.

Anytime, you get a recurrence, the clock goes back to ZERO and you start again from the beginning.


christinecarl's picture
Posts: 545
Joined: Sep 2009

Thank you for the responses. I would then guess mine would be at my 1st 3 month checkup, no scan done then just bloodwork, my Onc seems very anti scan. But that is a whole other topic. Sigh, anyway I wonder how the new healthcare laws figure into this pre existing thing. So confusing.

Nana b's picture
Nana b
Posts: 3045
Joined: May 2009

If you have no lapse of coverage or less then 62 days between coverages there is no pre existing. I would research health insurance pre existing condition for your state.

Crow71's picture
Posts: 681
Joined: Jan 2010

I f***ing love this. Disability INSURANCE. You rock Christine. Screw cancer.

christinecarl's picture
Posts: 545
Joined: Sep 2009

LOL thanks. Just to clarify, I would not be getting the diability insurance because of cancer. I would get it just in case when I am dancing down the street after being NED for 5 yrs (screw you insurance companies and cancer) I might fall down and break my arm and be out of work for a few weeks :)

thready's picture
Posts: 475
Joined: Sep 2009

Might want to check out when the disability will pay. I continue my disability policy because they will pay if I don't have any problems for 1 year from the time of the last payment.

I just have short term disability and they pay for 4 month of 66% of my salary. So my last payment by them to me was in Feb 2010 so in Feb 2011 I can have a recurrence and they will pay again! (I like your plan better, to fall and break my arm because I am dancing to NED music) They will pay for things that take me out of work other than cancer at this time. So if I have an injury because of NED dancine they will pay!
Best wished of a life full of dancing!

traci43's picture
Posts: 775
Joined: Jul 2007

Thanks for the laugh! I can't wait to hear about your dancing down the street! Just try not to fall.

Buckwirth's picture
Posts: 1271
Joined: Jun 2010

Each insurance company will have different rules as to pre existing conditions. The policy my company uses sets a six month time limit from the start of the policy (hire date), and the disability insurance on my car loan is the same.

Not sure about Aflac, just remember that all these companies are bastards ;-)

Posts: 372
Joined: Aug 2006

I made 4 1/2 years before a reoccurrence. There was a five year rule for me and even then they would not pay for a year and then pick-up half my salary. So I retired early took a much higher pension and medical insurance which I get until medicare if medicare is still there. Of course I still need to survive Obama and cancer trying to prevent me from living that long. Dancing...I sure miss doing that! Lou

Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

I don't think there is a clear answer to this one -- and I recall previous debates.

I asked my surgeon this question many years ago. She said that most statistics (on survival rates, etc.) are based on date of surgery. So, that is what I chose to use. Even though in my case I had chemoradiation for 3 months before surgery.

If it is for insurance purposes, I guess one needs to check on their definition.

If it is for personal reasons, I say: choose ALL the dates (date of diagnosis, date of surgery, date first NED) and celebrate each and every one of them!!!


KathiM's picture
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

It's 5 years from some indication of no cancer...like a clear biopsy, or so...

But for me, with my 2 primary site cancers, I am considered uninsurable for the rest of my life...sigh...

Hugs, Kathi

(Interesting you bring this up, as a result of my chemo and rads-induced osteoporosis (-2.7T), I can no longer lift stuff...so, I am truly disabled from my work as a computer consultant...maybe I should apply for disability...hummmm....
But the final blow was falling while skating on the canal outside my house in The Netherlands last January...blew out my shoulder...)

pepebcn's picture
Posts: 6352
Joined: Aug 2010

I just ask for it to the social security after 18 months of dissease ! I'm in temporary "sick leave" but I'm now triyng to get the definitive one!
In affirmative case who would pay it , insurance or Government?

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