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International SOS highlights importance of workplace measures to mitigate cancer risk

Companies can take proactive measures such as encouraging healthy eating habits. (Image source: Adobe Stock)


In advance of World Cancer Day on 4 February, International SOS, a leading health and security risk services company, underlines the importance of early detection and prevention of cancer in corporate health strategies, and suggests measures to mitigate cancer risk

While cancer remains a significant global health burden, proactive measures are shown to reduce mortality rates. Recent data suggests that at least 40% of all cancer cases reported could be prevented through effective primary prevention measures.

Workplace environment and working hours can have a profound influence on the physical and mental health and wellbeing of employees. Individuals spend a substantial portion of their lives at work, some potentially exposed to risk factors such as hazardous materials, long working hours, or cigarette smoke. Workplace habits can also contribute to physical inactivity and unhealthy eating patterns, both known risk factors for cancer. Consequently, the workplace can play a critical role in shaping health habits and mitigating cancer risks.

International SOS outlines some strategies to mitigate cancer risk for employees, such as providing education and awareness; encouraging regular screening; promoting healthy habits; encouraging open communication; conducting a workplace assessment; implementing a smoke-free workplace; and providing holistic care and support.

Dr Kate O’Reilly, medical director at International SOS, comments, “World Cancer Day serves as a crucial reminder of the impact of cancer and the potential for proactive intervention. Prioritising cancer awareness, accessible screening and prevention programmes isn’t just beneficial for individual employees, it demonstrably benefits organisations as well. These initiatives can lead to a healthier workforce, potentially reducing absenteeism and fostering a more engaged and productive work environment.

“Simple, yet impactful, workplace changes, such as promoting healthy food options and encouraging regular exercise, can significantly reduce cancer risks. Integrating these elements into corporate health programmes empowers employees to become active participants in their own wellbeing. It allows them to take charge of their health and potentially mitigate cancer risks.