Plan Insurance Blog

Cancer Screenings – Could You be Doing More?

Embarrassment, outcome fears and anxiety are found to be the most common reasons for putting off a cancer screening, and according to Bupa – one in ten delay their cancer screenings.

A survey conducted among 2,000 UK adults in July on behalf of Bupa Health Clinics has found that one in 10 people are delaying a cancer screening.

The research found that the top reasons for either missing or delaying a screening were embarrassment (23%), past bad experiences (21%), fear of the outcome (20%) anxiety (20%) and it not fitting with their working hours (19%).

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Concerns about being able to take time off work also made people postpone appointments, with 16% saying they have had to take health appointments off as holiday or unpaid leave, with 15% having time off denied even though it was for a health check-up or screening.

Only three in 10 stated their employer encouraged them to look after their health and just under one quarter felt their employer didn’t encourage attending regular appointments.

Dr. Naveen Puri, associate clinical director for Bupa Health Clinics said: “For businesses, looking after employee health is essential. If employees are unable to attend health appointments or regular screenings then health concerns are left for longer, which can result in long-term absence for more complex treatment.”

“Not only is it the right thing to do, but businesses who support employee health and wellbeing, reap the benefits of having a healthy, productive and engaged workforce.”

The study also found that over a quarter of all Brits (26%) admit to having ignored a health concern, with 16-34 year olds being the highest group putting off appointments.

And whilst the pandemic has put a renewed focus on health and wellbeing, over a quarter of Brits say they’re still less likely to see a doctor because of the pandemic.

Cancer treatments and diagnosis have been one of the major casualties of the Covid-19 pandemic, with recent research from Cancer Research UK finding that three in 10 cancer patients have experienced disruption to their NHS cancer treatments as a result of the pandemic.

“An earlier screening can lead to an abnormality being picked up sooner, which then leads to faster access to treatment that is more likely to be non-invasive. On the other hand, putting off a screening can lead to the outcome being worse and potentially needing more treatment. So very simply, the sooner the screening the better the outcome.”

Dr. Naveen Puri, associate clinical director for Bupa Health Clinics

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