As a review of our history would show, Transamerica Occidental Life Insurance Co. has a reputation as an innovator. The use of the tumor associated antigen test is another example of our willingness to take the lead.
We announced our new testing program in August, 1992, through a comprehensive press release that went to hundreds of newspapers and other media outlets.
As we are well aware, taking the lead in such a complex matter as this exposes us to the kind of misunderstanding that characterizes two recent stories in The Times, including “Insurer Uses Unproven Cancer Test” (Jan. 14).
Before our use of the test, individuals with a history of melanoma routinely waited as long as five to 10 years after remission to be eligible for life insurance.
Also, what is wrong with a test that provides for early detection of cancer?
Our commitment to our customers’ privacy prevents us from sharing specific cases with anyone, but we can only hope that The Times will hear from some of those people who are reaping the benefits of this promising medical advance.
DAVID R. CARPENTER
The writer is chairman, president and chief executive of Transamerica Life.