Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company is updating life insurance underwriting guidelines for applicants who have overcome breast cancer.

MassMutual, Springfield, Mass., says the changes will reflect changes in the way cancer researchers classify breast cancer.

Researchers and doctors once used 4 stages to classify the risk posed by breast cancer. MassMutual now will break invasive breast cancer into more clinical subtypes, and it has realigned the ratings for invasive and noninvasive breast cancers.

The changes should result in better ratings for many life applicants who have had breast cancer, the company says.

In February, MassMutual announced it was easing underwriting rules for applicants with some heart conditions and several other conditions, such as anxiety.

- Allison Bell

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