4 in 10 Cancer Cases Could Be Prevented: The Importance of Health Screening

Back to blog

According to Cancer Research UK, whilst around 360,000 people are diagnosed with cancer every year in the UK, experts estimate that around 4 in 10 cases could be prevented. Preventative care has proven to be more effective than cure, which is why prevention is at the heart of the long-term plan of the NHS and should be a core element of any effective wellbeing strategy.

Health screening is incredibly effective in spotting the early signs of poor health and is a key form of preventative care, as diagnostic tests are often only carried out when the individual is already showing signs and symptoms of a condition. Early detection, followed by treatment and management of the condition results in better outcomes, and lowers the risk of serious complications. For example, if a health screen picks up high blood pressure, which often has no symptoms, the individual can then make active lifestyle changes such as engaging in regular exercise, improving diet and cutting down on alcohol, to lower their blood pressure before it results in cardiovascular disease.

At Health Shield, health screening is one of many services we offer to help people lead healthier, happier, more productive lives. Our Health Screening Programme offers a choice of three affordable health screens from low-cost entry level up to Premium, including blood pressure checks, cholesterol tests, cancer screening and lifestyle analysis and recommendations. We can test for early signs of disease and provide detailed results, personal advice and helpline support if needed.

Why invest in workplace health screening with Health Shield?

Benefits of health screening for employees:

  • A clear picture of health – Give employees clear insights into their current picture of health
  • Immediate feedback – The health screening practitioner will provide immediate results for most of the tests conducted, avoiding the anxiety that comes with awaiting medical results
  • Ongoing Support – The support doesn’t end when you receive your results. We provide a support line available to each employee who has had a health screen with us
  • Recommendations on how to improve health – A personalised, online report gives feedback on changes employees can make to improve their health
  • High priority further investigations – If results need further investigation, results are processed with urgency, so there are no long waits
  • Convenient location – Our Health Screens are carried out at a private pop-up clinic at your workplace or at a suitable location nearby

Benefits of health screening for employers:

  • Workforce health insights – If requested, Health Shield can provide an anonymous graph-based report* showing a general picture of employee health that can be used to help shape your wellbeing strategy
  • Cost-effective – Our Health Screens start from as little as £35 per employee, representing great value for money
  • Employee self-management – Employees can book and manage their own health screen through Health Shield’s online booking portal, meaning minimal work for HR departments
  • Minimal disruption – Health screens are carried out in the workplace or at a suitable location chosen by you, meaning there is minimal disruption to the normal working day
  • Improved long-term absenteeism – A healthy workforce is a productive workforce. By giving employees insights into their health and wellbeing, you are encouraging employees to take an active role in improving their health, resulting in less sickness absence and a more engaged workforce

The wife of a member who used our screening services last year, Deb James, wrote to Health Shield to share her experience. Our cancer screening service picked up high levels of PSA in her husband’s tests: “Thanks to Health Shield’s help, we’ve been able to identify a possible health issue and have an MRI done privately, thus avoiding a long and stressful wait on the NHS and it’s been confirmed there are no signs of cancer.” This member’s experience highlights the positive difference a health screen and the following care pathways can have on peace of mind where health is concerned.

A holistic Health Cash Plan which treats physical and mental health in a coordinated way is also a great way of improving employee health and preventing the ‘knock-on effect’ of health conditions worsening and leading to more serious conditions. With depression four times as common in people experiencing persistent pain, it is important to develop an employee wellbeing offering which acknowledges the intrinsic link between physical and mental health and treats both holistically for the best results.

Encouraging preventative self-care is also great step to take to improve the health of your workforce. For example, although cancer can be caused by environmental factors, genetic predisposition and disease agents; lifestyle choices such as smoking, excessive alcohol intake, poor diet, lack of exercise and exposure to UV light have been proven to cause different types of common cancers. Encouraging wellbeing days, free fruit days, cycle-to-work incentives, offering local gym discounts and organising charity walks, along with a Health Shield Health Cash Plan are all great ways to get employees to take an active role in improving their health.

For more information on Health Shield’s preventative wellbeing products and services, why not visit our website and check out our Health Screening Programme?

*Report available on a minimum of 25 employees having health assessments due to data protection and employees’ right to remain anonymous.

Cancer Research UK, 2019.
Health Shield Insights, 2018.