Our Disability Lawyers help people who suffer from Breast Cancer & have been Wrongfully Denied their Long-Term Disability Benefits. Always Free Consultations and you Never Pay Upfront.
In 2019, the Canadian Cancer Society reported that over 28% of deaths in the country resulted from cancer, making it the most significant cause of death in the country. Among cancers breast cancer is one of the four most common types of cancer in Canada, accounting for 13% of new cancer cases, with the vast majority of those cases in women.
While medical professionals are encouraged by survival rates for breast cancer, which, at 89%, are higher than other cancer types, for individuals with cancer and cancer survivors, the fact that it is a life-changing experience does not change.
In addition to the initial shock of being diagnosed with breast cancer, the physical and emotional challenges of going through breast cancer treatment can be a trying experience, to say the least.
It can be a life-long struggle for someone with breast cancer to manage a regular routine or daily lifestyle, much less keep up with the rigors and demands of work. If you or a loved one suffers from breast cancer that is interrupting your ability to work or you are dealing with symptoms of breast cancer that impair your ability to do your job – call us today at 1-844-434-7224 or send us a confidential message through our website. We help disability claimants all over Ontario, and our consultations are 100% free.
If you suffer from breast cancer and have been denied your long-term disability benefits your disability insurance company may try to convince you to appeal your denied disability claim through their internal systems, but many claimants will discover that this process is ineffective and a waste of valuable time that simply delays your benefit payment. You are simply appealing your breast cancer disability claim with the same insurance company that denied you in the first place. Instead of appealing your breast cancer disability denial, call our long-term disability lawyers to get the FREE information you need to make a better and more informed decision about how to handle your long-term disability benefits denial for breast cancer.
Breast cancer is a malignant tumor growing in the cells of the breasts, and causes one in every eight women to be diagnosed with the disease each year. While there are many factors that can contribute to an individual’s risk of developing breast cancer, no single cause has been identified yet.
The causes of breast cancer vary from person to person and may involve genetics, lifestyle choices, or environmental exposures. Understanding the known causes can help individuals identify their own personal risks for developing breast cancer and make informed decisions about preventive measures they can take to reduce their risk.
While research into causes of breast cancer is ongoing, there are a few factors that have been identified as increasing the risk of developing the disease:
Age: genes and age are two causes of breast cancer. Individuals with a family history of the disease have an increased risk.Certain genetic mutations can increase an individual’s risk of getting breast cancer, such as BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations which can be inherited from either parent or passed down through generations. While aging increases the likelihood of developing cancers due to genetics and hormones. Most cases occur in women over the age of 50 and those who have gone through menopause. As individuals reach this stage in life, their bodies produce less estrogen which causes cells to divide more quickly than usual, resulting in an increased chance for mutations that can lead to cancerous tumors. Additionally, older women may be exposed to environmental factors that could contribute to breast cancer throughout their lifetime such as smoking or radiation therapy. It is important for all women, regardless of age, to be proactive about screening for breast cancer on a regular basis so that any potential issues can be caught early.
Family history: genetics and family history play a large role in the causes of breast cancer. Every individual has a unique genetic make-up, which can increase their risk for developing certain diseases, including breast cancer. Additionally, some families have a higher prevalence of individuals with the disease due to inherited mutations in genes like BRCA1 and BRCA2 that are passed down from generation to generation.
Women who have first-degree relatives (mother, sister or daughter) with breast cancer have approximately double the risk for developing the disease than those without any affected relatives. A woman’s chances of having a mutation in these genes is even higher if she has multiple affected relatives or if there are male members in her family with breast cancer.
It is important for individuals to be aware of their family history, as genetic testing can help determine if they may have an inherited mutation that causes a greater risk factor for developing breast cancer. Knowing this information can lead to earlier diagnosis, which in turn can improve prognosis and outcome.
Weight: being overweight or obese increases one’s risk of getting breast cancer, especially after menopause. When it comes to weight and breast cancer, research has shown that being overweight or obese can increase a woman’s risk for developing the disease. Excess weight causes changes in hormones like estrogen and insulin, which can fuel the growth of some types of breast cancer. Maintaining a healthy weight is important for all women, but especially those at high risk for breast cancer—which includes those with a family history of the disease, as well as women who have had radiation therapy to their chest area before age 30.
Hormonal causes: hormonal issues are a known cause of breast cancer, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Hormones have a direct influence on how cells grow and behave in the body. When hormones become imbalanced or disrupted, it can lead to changes in cell growth which can result in growths such as tumors. Certain hormones, including estrogen and progesterone, are known causes of breast cancer because they stimulate the growth of cells within the breasts. In addition to these hormones, other factors such as genetic predisposition and lifestyle habits can also play a role in causing hormonal imbalance leading to an increased risk of breast cancer. A diet high in processed foods, alcohol consumption, smoking and sedentary lifestyle all contribute to an increase risk for developing breast cancer as they create an environment in the body where hormones are out of balance.
Increased estrogen: individuals in this group could include women who experience their first menstruation cycle earlier than normal or those who reach menopause later than normal, as they go through more menstruation cycles than other women. Estrogen impacts the growth of breast cells and therefore impacts the development of breast cancer. Women who have late or never experienced pregnancy are also considered at higher risk for breast cancer. Similarly, people who have undergone hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and take estrogen over an extended period of time have a higher risk of developing breast cancer, as well as women who use oral contraceptives that contain estrogen.
Environmental causes: radiation exposure has been linked to an increased risk of developing breast cancer. Other environmental factors that may contribute include prolonged alcohol consumption and exposure to certain chemicals such as benzene and formaldehyde.
Alcohol: alcohol consumption, in particular, is a leading cause of hormonal imbalances that can increase the risk of developing breast cancer. Alcohol is known to act as an endocrine disruptor to the body’s hormones, frequently causing estrogen levels to rise or dip into unhealthy levels. This process can lead to an increased risk of breast cancer due to estrogen’s role in promoting cellular growth within the breasts. Studies have found that even light alcohol consumption (less than one drink per day) increases a person’s risk for developing breast cancer by more than 10%. Therefore, reducing your intake of alcohol should be taken seriously when attempting to reduce your chances of this serious illness.
While some causes of breast cancer cannot be prevented, it is important to take steps to reduce your chances by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, conducting regular self-exams, and getting screened regularly. If you are concerned that you may be at risk, talk to your doctor about the best practices for prevention and screening.
By understanding the causes of breast cancer, women can take steps to reduce their risk and improve their overall health. It is always important to consult a medical professional if you have any concerns or questions regarding causes or diagnosis of breast cancer. By taking an active role in your health, you can better protect yourself from developing this serious disease.
With our disability law firm you NEVER pay anything up front – no matter what the circumstance. The fee is always free – you only pay if we win your case.Matt Lalande – Camporese Lalande Disability Lawyers
Our Disability lawyers have assisted claimants with different types of breast cancer, some that are more common than others. The mechanism of cancer – what it affects and how quickly it spreads – and its location in relationship with your body are key factors that medical professionals pay attention to when diagnosing someone with cancer and presenting a recovery plan.
Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS): Lobular Carcinoma is a type of breast cancer that begins in the lobules, which are the milk-producing glands. It often spreads to surrounding tissue and can also metastasize (spread) to other parts of the body. Symptoms may include a lump or area of thickening in the breast, nipple discharge, changes in the size or shape of the breast, or skin dimpling. Treatment options depend on the stage and grade of the cancer and may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy or hormone therapy.
Invasive lobular carcinoma: Invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) is a type of breast cancer that arises from the glands in the breast, known as lobules. ILC is an uncommon form of breast cancer and accounts for approximately 10-15 percent of all breast cancers. Unlike other types of invasive breast cancer, ILC typically does not present with a lump but instead presents as an area of thickened tissue located on one side of the breast. It may also be found through mammography or ultrasound imaging. It is important to identify ILC early and accurately because it can spread quickly throughout the body if left untreated. Treatment options for ILC may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy
Triple-negative breast cancer: Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a type of breast cancer characterized by cells that do not express the estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor and human epidermal growth factor 2 (HER2). It makes up 10 to 15 percent of all breast cancers. The name “triple negative” comes from the fact that these types of tumors are negative for three common receptors associated with other forms of breast cancer: estrogen, progesterone, and HER2. Most people with TNBC need chemotherapy because hormone therapy does not work on this particular type of cancer. That’s why it’s important for those who have been diagnosed with this condition to receive prompt treatment from a health care professional.
Angiosarcoma: is a rare form of cancer that affects the lining of blood vessels, lymph vessels and organs. It can develop in any part of the body, but most commonly occurs in the skin or breast.
Breast Angiosarcoma accounts for less than 1% of all breast cancer cases. While it can occur at any age, it is more common among postmenopausal women and men over 60 years old.
This type of cancer usually starts with a lump on the skin or progresses by causing painless bleeding from the nipples. Additional symptoms include swelling, redness, ulceration and skin discoloration near the area affected by Angiosarcoma.
Diagnosis is based on physical examination, imaging tests and biopsy. Treatment for Angiosarcoma often involves surgery, radiation therapy or chemotherapy depending on the stage of the cancer. If detected early enough, outcomes can be positive. It is important to consult a physician if you experience any signs or symptoms of Angiosarcoma to discuss your treatment options. Early detection can make all the difference in successful outcomes with this rare form of breast cancer. Knowing the risk factors and being vigilant about checking yourself regularly are key components in managing Angiosarcoma.
Inflammatory breast cancer: cancer in the skin of the breasts, causing the skin to appear swollen. Inflammatory breast cancer can be tender and painful to the touch. It usually is a sign that this breast cancer has spread to the breast skin from its origin elsewhere in the breast area.
Paget’s disease: also known as Paget’s disease of the breast, is a type of rare cancer that affects the skin and underlying tissue of the nipple and areola in women. It usually appears as eczema-like changes in the skin and can be accompanied by itching, redness, burning sensations or other discomfort. In some cases, Paget’s Disease can extend to other parts of the breast and even involve adjacent lymph nodes which increases the risk for breast cancer.
Since Paget’s Disease is considered an early form of breast cancer most doctors will recommend further evaluation with biopsies or ultrasounds to rule out any underlying cancerous cells. Treatment for Paget’s Disease may include topical medications, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or even removal of the nipple and/or areola.
Breast cancer in men: although most cases of breast cancer are from women, that does not mean that men cannot develop breast cancer. It usually presents as fluids coming out of the nipples, a lump around the breast area, or changes to the outward look of the skin.
Part of what makes breast cancer challenging to identify early on, while there are still many treatment options available, is that it may not present with symptoms in the early stages. (Cancer is categorized into one of four stages, with four being the most serious.) If breast cancer develops into later stages, particularly without treatment, there are other symptoms that individuals may experience.
Early Symptoms: the most obvious sign of breast cancer for most individuals will be the development of a lump or mass that will be slightly firm to the touch as a result of a tumour caused by cells of a body that are damaged at the genetic level, causing them to mutate. These mutated cells form tumours in the body, which can sometimes be physically identified as a lump that forms and is slightly harder than normal or a change in the shape or size of the breast. Other symptoms that individuals might experience include physical changes to the breast, which could result in the breast developing into a different shape or becoming larger than normal in size. Women might experience fluid coming out of their breasts through the nipple that is bloody or red in colour from contact with blood.
Later Symptoms: there are many reasons why breast cancer might not be noticed until after it develops past the early stages. The education and common knowledge about how to check for unusual lumps and other early signs and symptoms of breast cancer is, unfortunately, something that not everyone has access to. Immigrants and individuals who are not fluent in English or French may not understand to reach out to see a professional medical opinion about their condition or may consciously choose not to seek out assistance for various personal reasons. People who notice a lump or changes in the shape of their breasts may also choose not to act on something they might consider trivial (an attitude that public health education is working to correct).
As breast cancer develops, it can cause severe physical illness, with symptoms resulting in physical pain and anxiety. Commonly experienced symptoms include:
By the point people experience these symptoms, it is very important to seek medical advice and plan how to approach your condition with your doctor. After the doctor has the opportunity to confirm a breast cancer diagnosis, it’s also important to clarify what type of breast cancer you are dealing with and what stage the breast cancer has progressed to. Your prognosis, or expected treatment outcome, can very often depend on the type of breast cancer and the course of treatment you choose.
Cancer treatment usually involves either one or a combination of approaches. The success of these treatments relies on a number of factors, including how early on the cancer is detected and treated and the location of the cancerous cells.
Surgery: while it might seem like the most effective method of removing the cancerous tumour, breast cancer surgery is unlike any other major operation. Surgeries always come with risks and may result in side effects. Coming out of surgery, you may experience bleeding or blood clots in the affected area. Some might experience pain and soreness while recovering from the surgery, affecting body movement and function.
Chemotherapy: as chemotherapy – the use of a set course of medication to attack the cancer cells – identifies and kills off cancer cells, the person undergoing chemotherapy also takes a physical toll. The side effect most commonly associated with chemotherapy is the loss of hair, but other side effects result from the treatment, including exhaustion and overall fatigue, diarrhea and nausea, skin colour change and the possibility of developing issues around the mouth and throat like sores.
Radiation therapy: the use of radiation therapy, or exposing the site of cancer to a controlled blast of radiation, is a tool that has been used to kill breast cancer cells. A major side effect of radiation therapy can be the recurrence of breast cancer. Additionally, people who undergo radiation therapy may experience other side effects, including nausea, soreness, and shortness of breath.
Hormone therapy: although not proven to cause breast cancer, the presence and levels of the hormone estrogen are closely tied to the development of breast cancer. Hormone therapy can be used for dealing with hormone receptors in breast cancer cells. Side effects of this type of therapy will vary depending on the kind of hormone administered but can include nausea, weight gain and osteoporosis.
Our disability lawyers are often consulted by breast cancer disability claimants who are simply not ready to go back to work for various reasons.
The decision to return to work after breast cancer is different for everyone. For some cancer victims, choosing to go back to work can be a positive step forward but for others, it can be a terribly challenging and scary event.There’s no doubt that working at one’s employment provides important psychological and financial benefits for cancer victims in terms of both income and health care benefits. For patients diagnosed with breast cancer, ongoing employment and return to work can promote a sense of normalcy and control during an emotionally challenging time – but not always. For many cancer victims, and of course depending on the clinical outcome, the negative impact of cancer on work often has problematic and seriously profound consequences for the financial and psychological well-being of survivors and their families. For example, some of the issues that can impede a permanent return to work include fatigue, depression, anxiety and loss of self-confidence. Other issues which can impede a successful return to work are:
Mastecomy related issues: the effect on quality of life and body image of mastectomy among breast cancer survivors can be devastating. For many women, the amputation of one or both breasts can result in a sense of mutilation and diminished self-worth and may threaten perceptions of femininity, charm, sexuality, and the self-perception of distorted/negative body image. Negative body image can inevitably affect the mood of a cancer victim and her interpersonal relationships, leading to social stigmatization, consequently social isolation – and thus having a major impact on return to work.
Chemo Brain: Some breast cancer survivors can suffer from what is known as “chemo brain” also known as chemo fog or post-chemotherapy cognitive impairment, is a common side effect of chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer. It is characterized by changes in concentration, memory and problem-solving abilities. Symptoms may include difficulty finding words while speaking and writing, taking longer to complete tasks, feeling overwhelmed more easily, being more forgetful than usual and feeling less organized. Although the exact cause of chemo brain remains unknown, it is thought that chemotherapy drugs may damage nerve cells in the brain which interfere with communication between neurons. Further research is needed to explore this phenomenon further but current studies suggest that certain treatments are beneficial in reducing symptoms associated with chemo brain. Treatment options include medications and psychological interventions such as cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness.
Mental Preoccupation: an individual who has returned to the office after being treated for breast cancer may experience a host of other mental issues at the office. They may have varying moods and feel anxious or nervous about any number of different things that may have nothing to do with being back at work. They may have pessimistic thoughts about whether or not their cancer is really in remission or whether their cancer will come back. They may be struggling to regain physical command of their body, whether it is doing things as quickly as they used to, like typing on a computer keyboard or multitasking, which could be extremely frustrating for some, particularly if they’re used to being high-performing individuals before having to deal with breast cancer.
Overall Self Image: the mental stress of having to come to grips with the very real physical changes breast cancer survivors have to live with is very real. A mastectomy, or surgical removal of the entire breast, is an option sometimes taken as a last resort if deemed necessary. In other cases, women can sometimes elect to have the operation done proactively if they know that they have a higher-than-normal probability of having breast cancer or have been told that they have underlining conditions predisposing them to it.
Research on the emotional impact of mastectomies in breast cancer survivors showed that a significant percentage of those interviewed had lower self-esteem after the mastectomy than before. Many of the respondents commented that while they did not regret doing the operation to deal with breast cancer, they wished that they could have a body that did not have the condition in the first place.
For many women, the breasts are an important part of their identity as women, whether as something that they personally take pride in as part of their physical appearance or something that is an accepted norm in the social fabric of their lives. The lowered self-confidence might adversely affect their ability to perform at their jobs, creating a vicious cycle of poor mental health and subpar work performance.
Social stresses: while the hope for most is that they work for a company and with coworkers who understand and sympathize with the stress of dealing with breast cancer, that is not always the case. For those without a supportive environment, they might deal with the social pressures of disappointing their coworkers and management with their absence from the office, as well as potentially personal guilt from forcing other coworkers to do additional work.
Even though there is very little by way of proof to show what causes cancer, there is still a great deal of social stigma attached to a diagnosis of cancer. Particularly in cases of younger women who survive breast cancer, with or without the need for a mastectomy, there is a lot of negative social pressure surrounding a diagnosis of breast cancer. The result can be a loss of social standing within her place of work or social circle, which can be extremely frustrating and extremely demotivating for someone trying to return from breast cancer. Whether warranted or not, there is value placed on breasts by societal standards for women, and those standards create the context for the stigma that anyone surviving breast cancer can expect to face.
Dealing with systems like insurance companies, government assistance, and company benefits can be an additional source of anxiety and stress. There are countless cases of insurance companies looking for any reason not to support a medical insurance claim or companies cutting off benefits or reducing benefits to those dealing with illness, including breast cancer. In some instances, breast cancer survivors may have to opt for retirement or resignation, even when they would prefer to continue working, for personal and financial reasons.
For those who are able to continue working, the financial costs related to their cancer treatment may be something that a person recovering from breast cancer is still thinking about. Their return to the office may have less to do with their desire to work again and more to do with relieving the financial burden of paying for breast cancer treatments and other related costs like childcare. The stress of having to find a financial solution to their issues, in addition to the unknown of their own physical condition, can be an additional burden to someone trying to find their way back to success at the workplace.
Breast cancer is a serious medical illness that can have a detrimental effect on an individual’s ability to work. In cases where the effects and aftereffects of breast cancer becomes so severe that it impairs a person’s ability to carry out regular work duties, long-term disability benefits may be available through employer group benefits. These monthly financial benefits, which are normally a portion of a worker’s salary can help individuals who are suffering from breast cancer address their illness, allowing them to focus on recovery instead of feeling pressure to maintain a job that demands too much energy.
In most Canadian long-term disability (LTD) insurance policies, total disability is defined as an incapacity to work due to bodily injury or illness that prevents the insured from performing their substantial or regular duties. This is typically referred to as the “own occupation” provision.
At two years from the date of total disability, there is a change in definition referred to as the “any occupation” definition of total disability. This means that the insured must be unable to perform any occupation for which he or she is reasonably suited by way of education, training and experience. LTD claimants are required to provide medical evidence of total disability in order for benefits to begin and be maintained. The duration of total disability can vary depending on individual circumstances.
Long-term disability insurance companies unfortunately deny many long-term disability claims for various reasons. Generally, this denial occurs when the company can prove that the insured was not disabled at the time they applied or if medical tests show that the insured’s disabling injury or sickness is not as severe as claimed or if evidence is found that suggests that false statements were entered on the application. Disability insurers may also deny long-term disability benefits if social media or other investigation is inconsistent with reported medical complaints or if the disability adjuster “plays” doctor, ignores the advise of your own medical professionals and simply decides you can get back to work and do something.
Since 2003, the long-term disability lawyers at Camporese Lalande have recovered tens of millions in wrongfully denied long-term disability benefits for disabled claimants who are going to the worst times of their lives. Stop struggling with a faceless insurance company – and call our long-term disability lawyers to get your free consultation today. Our long-term disability lawyers represent breast cancer claimants all over Ontario and we can help you get your long-term disability benefits back on track. Our consultations are 100% free – and if you decide to work with our long-term disability lawyers, the fee is free. We do not charge our clients anything unless we win their case. We are happy to provide you the legal advice you need in order for you to make an informed decision about your own particular situation.
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Article Summary FAQ about Breast Cancer, Long-Term Disability Benefits and our Disability Lawyers
If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, the first step is to consult with your doctor or health care provider and discuss whether it is medically necessary for you to take a leave of absence from work. If so, then you may be eligible for long-term disability benefits.
Most likely – if you are unable to work. In order to be eligible for long-term disability benefits, you must have a medical condition that is severe enough to prohibit you from performing your regular job duties for the first 24 months. After 24 months, you must be unable to perform the duties of any job for which you are suited by way of your education, training or experience.
You can file a claim for long-term disability benefits with your insurance provider. Generally, you will need to provide medical evidence of your diagnosis and how it impacts your ability to work. Your doctor may also be asked to provide additional information about the condition and how it affects you.
If you have been denied long-term disability benefits, your insurance provider should provide a detailed explanation of the reason for your denial in writing. You will them be allowed to appeal the decision or hire a long-term disability lawyer to fight for you.
Nothing. Our firm works on a contingency fee basis which is contingent upon a client’s successful recovery of benefits. We will advance all costs associated with your case, and if we are unsuccessful in obtaining benefits for you, you owe us nothing.
No – you do not need a lawyer to pursue long-term disability benefits. However, having an experienced disability lawyer on your side can drastically increase your chances of success.
Yes, consultations with our disability lawyers are always free. We will provide an honest evaluation of your chances of success and discuss the options available to you. Contact us today for more information!
The length of a long-term disability case can vary. Generally, our cases take 8 to 12 months from start to finish if the case is mediated. However, some cases may require more time or less time depending on the complexity of your claim and the amount of evidence that needs to be gathered.
It is impossible to predict the outcome of any case with certainty. However, if you have a strong claim and all necessary evidence in support of your claim, then your chances of success are much higher.
You can use the internet to search for disability lawyers in your area. You may also want to look for a disability lawyer by asking friends, family and your medical professionals.
Having a long-term disability lawyer on your side can significantly increase the chances of success. An experienced disability lawyer will be able to effectively navigate the process and handle any legal obstacles that may arise.