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February 3, 2023

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42% of employees want a better understanding of their cancer risk, according to new research

In new research from Towergate Health & Protection that coincides with World Cancer Day (4 February), 42% of employers said that employees having a better understanding of their own risks of serious illnesses, like cancer, had increased in importance in today’s world.

In addition, a third (32%) of employers said that being able to easily access screening for cancer had increased in importance to employees. This comes amidst ongoing challenges like a lack of GP appointments and increased NHS waiting lists.

Debra Clark, Head of Specialist Consulting at Towergate Health & Protection says: “With survival rates high in cases of early diagnosis, providing risk profiling and screening for employees is likely to have a major impact on health and wellbeing across the workplace.”

Scientists estimate that around 40% of cancer cases could be prevented. This equates to around 155,000 cases in the UK every year.

Early diagnosis

For the majority of cancers, the earlier it is detected, the better the survival rate. If an early diagnosis is made, the cancer is less developed and less likely to have spread to other parts of the body. This means treatment is often less invasive with fewer side effects and can lead to complete remission.

Cervical cancer: When diagnosed at its earliest stage, 96% of people will survive for a year or more, this compares to 50% of people when the disease is diagnosed in the latest stage.

Prostate cancer: One in eight men will get prostate cancer in their lifetime. Survival rates are extremely high in those diagnosed before symptoms develop. However, there is currently no national NHS screening programme for prostate cancer. This means that prostate cancer screening through the workplace is vital.

Screening plays a crucial role in early diagnosis and can help to detect cancers at the earliest stages before symptoms develop. There are many screening tests which can be done, some of which can be carried out at home, including for bowel and prostate cancer, others of which a visit to a clinic is needed, and some that can be carried out onsite at workplaces. Employers can provide access to many of these via their health and wellbeing programmes.

Wider awareness and prevention

Offering screening through the workplace can also help with raising awareness of cancer and, therefore, preventative measures. Lifestyle changes include not smoking, eating a healthy diet, being more active, and maintaining a healthy weight, all of which can be supported by employers through their wellbeing programmes. Smoking cessation assistance and nutrition advice are valuable employee benefits, as are health and fitness apps and plans that help employees to maintain an active lifestyle.

Debra Clark says: “Employers prompted by World Cancer Day 2023 to offer simple screening or risk profiling services could literally have saved lives by the next World Cancer Day.”

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Nigel Evelyn-dupree
Nigel Evelyn-dupree
1 year ago

Mmmm, presenteeism increasing the chances of developing effectively “life changing” “non-communicable diseases” often foreshortening their working life-cycle. Work-stress and insidious levels of fatigue already affect 58% of DSE user operators and so far, regardless of “Accessibility Regulations” post 1998 PUWER Act those with on-going “debilitating induced visual repetitive stress injuries” are still be expediently dismissed, only focusing on, sort of, preventing preexisting disabilities ignoring the need to address occupational health of ALL employees and just bragging about facilitating “reasonable adjustment or accommodations” for a small sector of, so called, presenting as, disabled workers. No mention of disabled / diversity or… Read more »