Initiatives to Fight Cancer
According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), cancer is the second-highest cause of death in the United States—claiming nearly 600,000 lives each year. And, every year, nearly 2 million people are diagnosed with some type of cancer. The battle with cancer can be long and can leave diagnosed individuals weakened both financially and medically. Though there are more than 100 types of cancer, the top three most common cancers across gender and race are as follows:
- Prostate cancer – Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men. Every year, 1 out of 7 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer and 1 out of 38 men die from it.
- Breast cancer – Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women. Every year, 1 out of 8 women is diagnosed with breast cancer and roughly 40,000 women die from it.
- Lung cancer – Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in both men and women. Every year, 1 out 13 men and 1 out of 16 women are diagnosed with lung cancer, and an estimated 160,000 people die from it.
Although cancer can’t always be prevented, it can be detected early, before it becomes an overwhelming financial and medical burden. That financial burden is not only carried by those diagnosed with cancer, but the companies they work for; Cancer costs the U.S. economy an estimated $226 billion annually. Fortunately, early detection of cancer can potentially minimize those costs for your employees and your business.
Activities and Programs
The signs and symptoms of cancer are not always obvious to those who are undiagnosed, so early screening is important. Here are four programs that your business can implement to help your employees be proactive in identifying cancer.
- Provide education to your employees about the benefits of cancer screening and recommendations for when to get screened.
- Include these screening recommendations in a larger discussion about the importance of preventive care and recommended screenings.
- Communication methods could include brochures, emails, traditional mail, posters and telephone reminders. For more information, contact Southwest Risk Management.
- Emphasize the necessity for patients to seek a diagnostic follow-up and treatment as needed.
- Offer flexible work schedules so employees can take time to get the necessary screenings and to attend doctor appointments.
- Set up on-site screening services, if possible. For instance, mobile mammography vans can provide convenient screening for women during the workday.
- Ask your health plan carrier to send reminders to employees and providers when patients are due for a recommended screening. Patient reminders also provide a good opportunity for education on the health benefits of screenings.
Proactive Behavior Can Save Lives and Money
An estimated 14 million Americans are currently living with cancer, and nearly a quarter of them will lose their battles. The most effective solution to treating cancer is early detection. By encouraging your employees to get regularly screened and tested, they can live healthier, fuller lives, and your company can minimize health coverage costs.
Workplace Wellness Tips brought to you by Southwest Risk Manangement, LLC