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SHP Health and Safety News: New insight into the cost of cancer for employers

Being given a cancer diagnosis is devastating, however an early detection of cancer can make all the difference when it comes to employees and employers.

A new web tool has been developed which will allow an organisation to assess the financial savings of introducing company-paid early detection of cancer.


The free Cancer Impact Calculator  follows claims by Cancer Research UK that nearly half the UK population are expected to suffer from the disease at some point in their lives.

Over 100,000 UK employees are diagnosed with cancer every year and these numbers are on the rise.

The calculator – developed by Check4Cancer with Health At Work Wellness Actuaries (HAW) – is based on current data on the risk of cancer among people of working age in the UK.

Taking information on the levels of undiagnosed cases across different cancer types, this actuary model draws on insights from cancer specialists into the stages of tumour growth and post-diagnosis treatments.

It also takes into account the costs involved, likely levels of workplace absence, longer-term treatment and survival rates.

Average figures are used on normal absence rates, presenteeism costs, average death and private medical benefit costs and typical turnover rates.

Based on these data inputs, the model projects future outcomes for everyone tested over a 10-year period, comparing the tested individual to someone that has not been tested. This provides the basis for clearer decision-making on approaches to mitigating the impacts of rising numbers of cancer cases in the working population.

Case study

Accountancy and advisory firm BDO trialled the Cancer Impact Calculator and found an estimated saving of £1.66 for every £1.00 invested in cancer checks.

Debbie Thomson, head of operations said: “The health and wellbeing of our people is vitally important to us.  Cancer is a horrific disease which affects so many people which is why we decided to bring in early detection cancer screening.

“Screening provides our people with significant preventative health benefits as well as peace of mind and the calculator proves the commercial value of introducing this benefit. This benefit will be introduced for our people in January 2016 and forms part of our developing wellbeing agenda.”

Full article is available on SHP Health and Safety News website: New insight into the cost of cancer for employers


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