CANCER OF THE FEMALE GENITAL TRACT & SSD BENEFITS
WHAT IS CANCER OF THE FEMALE GENITAL TRACT?
Cancer of the female genital tract is a type of cancer that affects the reproductive organs in women. It includes carcinoma or sarcoma of the uterus, cervix, vulva and ovaries. This type of cancer can be caused by many factors. For example, genetics, lifestyle choices, and environmental exposures can all play a part in having this type of cancer. It can also occur due to certain infections like HPV (Human Papillomavirus).
Every year, doctors find thousands of women have cancer of the female genital tract. Unfortunately, this type of cancer is the leading cause of death in women between the ages of 15 and 44 years old. It is responsible for the death of nearly 20,000 women every year in the United States alone.
Cancer of the female genital tract can lead to serious health issues if it is not treated in time. Symptoms depend on the location and stage of the cancer but may include bleeding, pain during sex, pelvic pain or bloating, and changes in bowel habits. Finding the cancer early is the key for successful treatment. So, it is important to have regular visits with your doctor to detect any signs or symptoms of cancer early on. Similarly, you should have regular mammograms to detect breast cancer as early as possible.
The key to successful treatment lies in understanding what female genital tract cancer is, what the symptoms are, and how to detect it. This article will discuss cancer of the female genital tract and how it may qualify you for SSDI and SSI benefits. In order to win benefits your cancer must prevent you from working for one year or more.
DOES FEMALE GENITAL TRACT CANCER QUALIFY FOR SSDI & SSI BENEFITS?
Cancer of the female genital tract is a serious condition that can cause severe physical and mental symptoms. It can impact your ability to work and make it difficult for you to support yourself. Fortunately, Social Security benefits provide a financial help while you try to manage your condition.
This article will discuss the different types of Social Security benefits available for female genital tract cancer and how you can apply for them. We will also discuss the importance of hiring a lawyer with Social Security legal experience, like Cannon Disability Law, to help you win benefits.
Most women with cancer of the female genital tract apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. This is a benefit that pays a portion of your former monthly income, because you are unable to work due to illness. To apply, you must submit an application to the Social Security Administration. You can apply online on the Social Security’s website. Next, you will need to submit medical evidence to the SSA that proves you cannot work for at least one year. This evidence should be from your treating doctor.
Another option is filing an application for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. The SSI program provides benefits based on financial need. Therefore, if you have cancer of the female genital tract, you can qualify for benefits even if you have no work experience. You can also win benefits if your cancer symptoms prevent you from working at your past job and any other job in the economy. Additionally, you can win benefits if the side effects of cancer treatment leave you unable to work. It is also possible to apply for both types of benefits at once.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF FEMALE GENITAL TRACT CANCER
Endometrial cancer and cervical cancer are the two most common types of female genital tract cancers. Each form of cancer has its own set of symptoms and risk factors.
ENDOMETRIAL CANCER AND UTERINE CANCER
Cancer of the endometrium occurs when abnormal cells grow in the lining of the uterus. It is most common in women who have had many children and those with a family history of cancer. Risk factors include obesity, early menopause, not using the pill or other hormone therapy, and being over age 35. The symptoms of endometrial cancer include irregular periods, pain during sex, and vaginal bleeding on rare occasions.
The most common type of uterine cancer is also called endometrial cancer, because it forms in the lining of your uterus, called the endometrium. When cancer starts in the uterus, it is called uterine cancer. The uterus is the pear shaped organ in a woman’s pelvis. The uterus, or the womb, is where a baby grows when a woman is pregnant.
All women are at risk for uterine cancer, as long as they have a uterus. However, the risk of uterine cancer increases as a woman ages. Most uterine cancers are found in women who are going through or who have gone through menopause.
Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women worldwide. The symptoms of cervical cancer are difficult to identify. However, early detection of cervical cancer is key to successful treatment. Therefore, it is important for women to be aware of the signs and symptoms of this disease. These include abnormal bleeding between periods and pain during sex. It also includes unusual discharge from the vagina, pelvic pain or pressure, and changes in bladder or bowel habits. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to visit with your doctor as soon as possible.
The risk for cervical cancer increases after age 30 and it is most often caused by HPV infection. Fortunately, you can now receive a vaccine against HPV infection. Most women who develop cervical cancer have not had the vaccine against HPV. Doctors recommend getting the HPV vaccine when a female is in her early teen years. Another risk factor for cervical cancer is smoking. Smoking is a risk factor because the compounds in cigarettes cause abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are available for those who are unable to work due to either form of cancer.
Ovarian cancer is the most common type of gynecologic cancer in women. An estimated 80 percent of cancers of the female genital tract are ovarian cancer. It occurs when ovary cells grow abnormally and invade other parts of the body such as the fallopian tubes and surrounding tissues. This growth can be a benign tumor or malignant tumor.
Benign tumors grow slowly and do not spread to other areas of the body. Whereas, malignant tumors can spread to other parts of the body quickly.
The symptoms of ovarian cancer depend on where the cancer occurs within the reproductive organs. Some signs include abdominal bloating that lasts for more than two weeks. Other symptoms include sudden weight loss without an obvious cause and pain or burning while urinating. Additional symptoms may include anemia, back pain, fatigue, itching, and pelvic pain.
Women who have given birth have a lower risk of ovarian cancer. Additionally, taking the pill for at least five years reduces a women’s risk of ovarian cancer by 50 percent. The reason both giving birth and birth control pills help prevent ovarian cancer, is that both stop ovulation. Some scientists believe that not ovulating lowers the risk of ovarian cancer.
VAGINAL AND VULVAR CANCER
When cancer starts in the vagina, it is called vaginal cancer. The vagina, or birth canal, is the channel between the bottom of the uterus and the outside of the body.
When cancer forms in the vulva, it is vulvar cancer. The vulva is the outer part of the female genital organs. The vulva has two folds of skin, called the labia. Vulvar cancer usually occurs on the inner edges of the labia. Vulvar cancer symptoms include skin changes in the vulva or sores, lumps, and ulcers on the vulva.
Fortunately, vaginal and vulvar cancers are very rare. All women are at risk for these forms of cancer, but very few will get them. Together, both cancers account for around 7% of all female genital cancers in the United States.
FALLOPIAN TUBE CANCER
Fallopian tube cancer, also known as tubal cancer, develops in the Fallopian tubes. These are the tubes that connect the ovaries and the uterus. This forms of female genital tract cancer is very rare. For example, it accounts for only 1 percent to 2 percent of all female genital cancers. Worldwide, only 1,500 to 2,000 cases of Fallopian tube cancer are found by doctors each year. Annually, 300 to 400 women are found to have the condition in the United States.
The reason Fallopian tube cancer is so rare it that it is more common for cancer to spread from other parts of the body, such as the ovaries or endometrium, than for the cancer to start in the Fallopian tubes. This cancer normally affects women between the ages of 50 and 60, although it can occur in women of any age. It is more common in Caucasian women who have had few or no children.
Because this cancer is so rare, doctors know very little about what causes it. However, scientists believe that genetics play some role. For example, there is evidence that women who have inherited the gene linked to breast cancer, called BRCA1, also have a higher risk of developing fallopian tube cancer.
TREATMENT FOR CANCER OF THE FEMALE GENITAL TRACT
The treatment for female genital tract cancers depends on the stage and type of cancer, and your overall health. For example, when treating ovarian cancer, doctors usually use a combination of surgery and chemotherapy. The surgery removes the cancer cells and the chemo destroys any remaining cells.
Treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and gene therapy. Again, surgery removes cancer tissue through an operation. Radiation or chemotherapy ensures all cancer cells are destroyed. Additionally, your doctor may also use hormone therapy to slow or stop tumor growth. Targeted gene therapy is also available for certain types of cancer that have specific genetic mutations.
CLINICAL TRIALS FOR CANCER
Clinical trials use new treatment options to treat female genital tract cancer. If you have cancer, then you may want to take part in one of these trials. You can visit the sites listed below for more information and to find out if you qualify to be part of a trial to cure cancer.
- NIH Clinical Research Trials and You (National Institutes of Health)
- Learn About Clinical Trials (National Cancer Institute)
- Search for Clinical Trials (National Cancer Institute)
- ClinicalTrials.gov (National Institutes of Health)
HOW TO MEET LISTING 13.23 FOR CANCER OF THE FEMALE GENITAL TRACT
Social Security Listing 13.25 defines the symptoms for cancer of the female genital tract that meet SSA’s rules for payment of benefits. To meet this listing, you must prove that you have cancer that has spread or come back despite an initial round of anticancer therapy.
Meeting the listing is always based upon your medical records. One of the best things you can do for your case is obtain a letter from your treating doctor about your cancer. For example, your doctor can discuss when your cancer began, your symptoms, and if your cancer prevents you from working. Additionally, your doctor should review listing 13.23 and address whether you meet the listing in a letter to the SSA. Listing 13.23 is below:
13.23 Cancers of the female genital tract – carcinoma or sarcoma (including primary peritoneal carcinoma).
A. Uterus (corpus), as described in 1, 2, or 3:
2. With metastases to or beyond the regional lymph nodes.
3. Persistent or recurrent following initial anticancer therapy.
B. Uterine cervix, as described in 1, 2 or 3:
1. Extending to the pelvic wall, lower portion of the vagina, or adjacent or distant organs.
2. Persistent or recurrent following initial anticancer therapy.
3. With metastases to distant (for example, paraaortic or supraclavicular) lymph nodes.
C. Vulva or vagina, as described in 1, 2, or 3:
2. With metastases to or beyond the regional lymph nodes.
3. Persistent or recurrent following initial anticancer therapy.
D. Fallopian tubes, as described in 1 or 2:
1. Extending to the serosa or beyond.
2. Persistent or recurrent following initial anticancer therapy.
E. Ovaries, as described in 1 or 2:
1. All cancers except germ cell cancers, with at least one of the following:
a. Extension beyond the pelvis; for example, implants on, or direct extension to, peritoneal, omental, or bowel surfaces.
b. Metastases to or beyond the regional lymph nodes.
c. Recurrent following initial anticancer therapy.
2. Germ cell cancer that is progressive or recurrent following initial anticancer therapy.
F. Small-cell (oat cell) carcinoma.
FEMALE GENITAL TRACT CANCER IMPACTS YOUR RESIDUAL FUNCTIONAL CAPACITY
If your cancer does not meet listing 13.23, you can still win benefits if your cancer impairs your residual functional capacity (RFC). Your RFC is SSA’s finding of what you can physically do in a work setting, when considering your cancer symptoms.
Your RFC includes both your physical and mental limits. In terms of physical limits, the SSA tries to define your ability to sit, stand, walk, and lift, during the course of an 8 hour workday. Likewise, the SSA will include your ability to carry, pull, and push. In terms of mental limits, the SSA will consider any memory issues, your ability to concentrate and follow instructions, and your pain level. Find out more about how the SSA defines work here.
In order to figure out your physical RFC, the SSA will examine your medical records. They will take into account what your doctor states in your medical records about your ability to work. Additionally, the SSA has their own doctors that review your medical records, but never meet or examine you. These doctors are paid by the government and work for DDS, the state agency who reviews all cases. The SSA will take the medical opinion of these doctors into account too. Likewise, if they need more information, they may send you to a medical exam. Learn more here about what to expect at SSA’s consultative exam.
The SSA will also consider descriptions of your symptoms from your family and friends. Find out more information about what types of evidence the SSA must consider here. For example, your family or friends could write a statement how your cancer symptoms impact your energy level. Find out more here about RFC and how it, along with your age, can fall under the SSA’s rules to award you benefits.
DOES SSA CONSIDER THE EFFECTS OF CANCER THERAPY?
The SSA does consider the effects of your treatment for female genital tract cancer. Because treatment for cancer can cause severe symptoms, the SSA will consider the effects of the drugs you are taking. They will also look at how often you need to take the drugs. Likewise, they will consider the impact of surgery. Additionally, they will look at whether or not radiation therapy and chemotherapy give you severe symptoms which keep you from working.
The SSA will request a description of the problems or adverse effects of the cancer treatment from your doctor. Additionally, they will review your medical records to find out whether you are having ongoing gastrointestinal symptoms, weakness, and neurological problems. They will also look at whether or not you are experiencing mental illness due to your cancer, like anxiety. Many people, after treatment for cancer, suffer from memory loss, anxiety, and other mental issues.
The SSA states that in order to determine the adverse effects of therapy, enough time must pass to allow them to see the effect of the therapy. The SSA believes the effects of treatment are temporary in most instances. However, the effects must keep you from working for a period of at least 12 months in a row. In those situations, the SSA must determine that your medical condition prevents you from working for over one year. If so, the SSA should pay you SSDI benefits.
WHAT WE DO TO HELP YOU WIN SSD AND SSI BENEFITS
You do not need to apply for Social Security benefits by yourself. You can always call our law firm and we will help you win benefits for cancer of the female genital tract. Cannon Disability can help you file your SSD and SSI application. Also, we can help you appeal every SSA denial. For example, our attorneys and staff can:
- Send you the paperwork you need to become our client
- Help you file your application for SSD and SSI benefits
- Inform the SSA that they should automatically pay your benefits under the Compassionate Allowance Rules
- Request reconsideration if you receive an initial denial from Disability Determination Services
- Help you confirm your Consultative Examination
- Request a Hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)
- Prepare you to be a good witness at your SSA hearing
- Represent you at your hearing and question the expert witnesses
- Read more about vocational experts here
- Learn more about medical expert testimony here
- Request review of a decision at the Appeals Council
- Request review of an Appeals Council denial in Federal Court
If you file your application for benefits online at Social Security’s website, then you have 6 months to complete the application. Once you submit your application online, the SSA sends you an application summary in the mail. You must sign the summary and mail it back. If you don’t send it back, the SSA will not process your application. Sign it and send it back as soon as you can.
WE OFFER A FREE CONSULTATION ABOUT YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS
If you need help filing for benefits for cancer of the female genital tract, then reach out to Cannon Disability Law. Taking the first step by calling us. All you need to do is reach out to our legal team.
Additionally, we offer a free review of your case. What that means is that you can call us and explain your situation. At that point, we will look at the merits of your case for free and let you know if you have a chance to win benefits. We do not charge you for our review of your case.
In the past 30 years, we have won over $100 million in SSDI and SSI benefits for our clients. We are experts at what we do and we will put our knowledge to work for you. Hire us to be your Social Security legal team.
We help clients win benefits in many states, including Nevada, Utah, Idaho, and California. Find out more about your benefits and how to apply in your state here:
- California SSDI and SSI benefits
- Colorado SSDI and SSI benefit information
- Idaho SSDI and SSI benefits
- Nevada SSDI and SSI benefits
- Utah SSDI and SSI benefits
No matter where you live, we want to be your legal team. Hire the best Social Security legal team with no money down. Also, there will be no attorney fee unless we win your case. Contact us today. We will do our best to help you win SSDI and SSI benefits for cancer of the female genital tract. We know that this type of cancer is a serious disease. Obviously, we will also due our best to win your cancer benefits as quickly as possible.
YOU ONLY PAY ATTORNEY FEES IF YOU WIN YOUR BENEFITS
The SSA has capped attorney fees in Social Security cases at 25% of your past due or back benefit or $7200, which ever amount is less. This is the most your attorney can charge you if your case is won at the hearing level or below.
For example, if your attorney wins your SSDI case and your back benefit is $10,000, then the attorney fee will be 25% of the back benefit, or $2500. In such a case, you would not pay the $7200 cap. Instead, the attorney fee is 25% of the back benefit, which is less than the cap. This is what happens in most SSDI and SSI cases.
In another example, if you attorney wins your SSDI case and your back benefit is $100,000, the attorney fee is not $25,000, which is 25% of the back benefit. Instead, the attorney fee would be $7200. Because $7200 is the most your attorney can charge you after winning your case at the hearing level or below. That is true even if 25% is higher than the $7200 cap.
Additionally, your attorney can only charge an attorney fee if they win your case. In other words, if you do not win your benefits, then you do not pay an attorney fee. This means that your attorney has worked for up to two years on your case for free. So, if you don’t get benefits, your attorney doesn’t get paid. Obviously, your attorney has a good reason to win your case. This type of attorney fee is known as a contingency fee, because it is depends on winning your case for cancer.
IS IT WORTH THE ATTORNEY FEE TO HIRE AN SSD LAWYER?
It isn’t easy to get Social Security benefits and the application process can be frustrating for most people. But, having an attorney throughout this appeal process can help. It is our belief that when you have a law firm with experience handling your Social Security case, the SSA makes sure that they follow their own procedures. Additionally, when you have an attorney with legal experience, they will have access to Social Security’s decisions throughout the process. They can also submit medical evidence that may be missing from your case on your behalf.
There is evidence that hiring an attorney with the proper experience raises your chances of winning your SSDI and SSI benefits by 30%. It is also smart to hire an attorney to help you at your hearing. After all, you are the star witness at your hearing. If you hire an attorney with experience, they can prepare you to be a good witness at your hearing. Learn more about how to prepare for your hearing here.
HIRE US FOR OUR YEARS OF LEGAL EXPERIENCE
The SSA benefits application and appeal process can be long and complex. If you have cancer of the female genital tract, then worrying about benefits is the last thing you want to do. Hire Cannon Disability Law to give you legal advice and walk you through the application process. In the past 30 years, we have won millions of dollars in ongoing and past due due benefits for our clients.
If you want to win SSDI and SSI benefits, then hire an attorney with the legal experience to win your case. We work on a contingency basis. This means we do not charge you any money up front to help you or for you to become our client. Then, you only pay us an attorney fee when you win benefits. If you don’t win, you don’t pay an attorney fee.
If you want to learn more about our lawyers and staff, then read our About Us page. For example, you can learn about Andria Summers, who has 21 years of experience working at Cannon Disability Law. She can also help you with your Medicare advantage plan. She has also won thousands of SSDI and SSI cases.
Additionally, Dianna Cannon has been helping her clients win benefits for over thirty years. Ms. Cannon has years of Federal Court experience. She has also taught law school and written a book on SSDI benefits. Brett Bunkall also has years of legal experience helping people obtain their SSI and SSD benefits. We are Social Security law experts. You can trust us to help you win your benefits for cancer of the female genital tract. We want to make the difficult process of winning benefits as easy as possible for you. For help, contact us today.