SAN ANTONIO -

When Adela Mendoza was 13-years-old, her paternal grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer.

"I've had a lot of close family members who've been diagnosed with cancer. Some have survived and some haven't," Mendoza said.

She eventually lost her grandmother to lung cancer, but even before that, she had an aunt that who a six-year battle with breast cancer.

The hereditary concerns became clear to her as a teenager.

A few years later when she became an insurance agent, her eyes were opened yet again.

"That's where I became really informed (about) how it takes so many peoples' lives and, of course, you see the financial distress that it puts people in," Mendoza said.

When her mother-in-law was diagnosed with cancer, she took care of her and realized just how debilitating the disease can be.

She also quickly realized the financial impact a cancer diagnosis could have and how an insurance policy could alleviate some of the worry.

"If any of us were to ever get cancer, I would be OK for a little while, not forever, but for a little while to help me out with the bills," Mendoza said.

Managing Director of Wortham Insurance Jenni Haff said aside from riders, there are primarily two types of cancer policies to consider.

With a lump sum policy, you are given a set amount upon diagnosis to use at your discretion.

"That check, then, can go towards all of the treatment that you need to have done and it can also go buy a new pair of shoes if that's going to make your day brighter," Haff said.

The more common type of cancer policy has a scheduled pay out and, depending on how long treatment lasts, could exceed a lump sum benefit.

"It's going to reimburse you for your screenings, it's also going to pay for any treatment or reimburse you for any treatment you may have," Haff said.

Mendoza knows her policy won't cover everything and, of course, the best-case scenario would be to not have to cash it in at all, but in the mean time, she'll have one less thing to worry about.

Haff said it's worth noting most policies won't work for those who have previously been diagnosed with cancer, although there are some cancer riders purchased through employee benefit plans that don't exclude those with pre-existing conditions.

It is also important to check which types of cancer are covered because, according to Haff, sometimes skin cancer is excluded.

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