Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company is observing Breast Cancer Awareness Month by publicizing its life insurance underwriting guidelines for healthy women who have survived breast cancer.[@@]

MassMutual, Springfield, Mass., notes that it may offer preferred rates to some otherwise healthy women who have suffered from noninvasive “stage 0″ breast cancer.

Women with “stage 1″ tumors that are 1 centimeter or less in size may be eligible to buy life insurance at a rate slightly higher than the standard rate immediately after surgery, and women with larger stage 1 tumors are eligible to buy MassMutual life insurance at a rate slightly higher than the standard rate 1 year after being treated.

Many women who have had more advanced tumors may be eligible for life insurance if no evidence of cancer exists 3 years to 5 years after the tumors were treated, MassMutual says.

Earlier this month another carrier, Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., Simsbury, Conn., announced that it would be offering life insurance at standard rates to many survivors of small, localized breast cancer tumors.