"Cancer can change an individual’s life irrevocably and therefore it is vital that insurers and employers recognise this and provide for the bumps in the road that can occur in the long-term post-cancer."
- Christine Husbands commercial director at RedArc
According to the latest research conducted on behalf of Towergate Health & Protection, only 26% of employers offer employees risk profiling to assess their propensity to serious health conditions such as cancer, despite the importance of early detection for good outcomes.
Among those surveyed (500), it was revealed that the most common risk profiling assessment is a medical questionnaire with no physical examination or assessment (36%), while over 25% of employers don’t offer employees any form of risk profiling.
Of those facilitating risk profiling, the major factors considered were weight & fitness, followed by serious illness. Towergate Health & Protection believes that these factors have been prioritised as avoiding tobacco, limiting alcohol consumption, and protecting your skin from the sun can reduce the risk of cancer. Hence, by assessing these risks, employees can make informed decisions about any lifestyle changes they may wish to make.
When asked why it would be valuable to have a better understanding of the health & well-being risk profile of their employees, 38% of companies said that it would mean they could tailor their health and well-being support (which would help fulfil the company’s corporate and social responsibilities) while 36% recognised that risk profiling would enable them to efficiently prioritise poorly funded company health & wellbeing support. Likewise, 35% could see that better-tailored support would aid recruitment and retention.
Commenting on these findings, Debra Clark, head of wellbeing at Towergate Health & Protection, has said:
“With early detection of cancer being the key to better outcomes and lifestyle factors having such a big impact on the prevention of cancer, risk profiling is a valuable benefit for employees.
“The wider benefits of risk profiling, relating to CSR, recruitment and retention, show that while there are clear advantages to the employees themselves, there are also benefits to the employer and to the business. Assessment of risks and early detection of cancer and other serious illnesses can only be a good thing all round.”
Similarly, RedArc highlighted that too often support for those newly diagnosed or undergoing cancer treatment doesn’t extend beyond the clinical aspects and is not always offered to survivors while they’re expected to get ‘back to normal’.
Consequently, RedArc has warned insurers and employers that they must offer more support to cancer survivors, especially since there is an increasing number of people who could be suffering from treatment-associated hangovers, longer-term physical effects, and fear of recurrence.
The added-value service provider said that it is important to consider that cancer survivors could be struggling with relationship problems, career pressure, isolation, listlessness, and family finances.
Echoing this message, Christine Husbands commercial director at RedArc, has said:
“It’s a commonly held view that people who have received the all-clear should be able to put cancer behind them and have a new lease of life. It’s true to say that even people being treated for cancer hope this to the case, but the reality is often somewhat different. Even when the body is beginning to heal, the mind can still be fragile and the emotional recovery can take longer than the physical one.”