Author: Larry Chapman
Think about that employee of yours that this year will receive a diagnosis with the “C” word. Pretty chilling huh! Even with the steady improvements in cancer incidence and survivability, it is still a primary health concern for a major portion of your employees. The American Cancer Society (ACS) just released its national cancer estimates for 2018 that puts some perspective around this powerful health and wellness issue.
Wellness program managers would do well to look for some meaningful opportunities to help inform and educate employees about the health risk factors and treatment issues associated with cancer diagnosis, treatment and prevention. Here are some suggestions:
- Examine your health/well-being survey for cancer risk related questions.
- Make sure the personal reports you provide to participants address cancer-related risk reduction.
- Create an opportunity to use some of the global data in this article to raise awareness about cancer risk.
- Remind employees through wellness coaches to make sure they have a PCP and to ask about cancer prevention.
- Make sure your health plan has resources and services to help those who are newly diagnosed find their way through the health care “maze” when it comes to cancer treatment.
- Look for an opportunity to incent your employees and their family members to stay “current” on all preventive screening that is cancer-related.
- Review how your employees can access health plan provided, consumer information on cancer treatment and services including price transparency and options.
- Keep an eye on the patient cost-sharing load for cancer patients so that we don’t financially overwhelm our employee families during treatment and follow-up.
- Consider doing a lunch and learn session on cancer risk reduction strategies and issues.
- Explore the possibility of a lunch and learn session on what to do if you or a family member gets a cancer diagnosis.
- Depending on your work culture consider addressing complementary and alternative medical options.
- Examine the option of looking at the primary, secondary and tertiary prevention issues connected with cancer. (Hint: primary = precursors, secondary = early detection, tertiary = help after confirmed diagnosis)
Lots of different things that can be done to help your employees deal with cancer issues.
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I hope this tool helps you reach your wellness programming goals! Drop me a note and let me know your thoughts and if you found it to be helpful: [email protected].