Every year, cancer causes millions of deaths worldwide. It is one of the leading causes of death globally, and it affects individuals of all ages and backgrounds. In light of this, human resources managers should prioritize the health and wellbeing of employees by including cancer awareness in any employee wellness program. It is not only a responsible action as an employer, but it can also improve employees' morale and loyalty.
Among all cancers, cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer affecting women worldwide and in Asia, with an estimated 351,720 new cases and 199,902 deaths every year*. It is also one of the most preventable cancers of today. Cervical cancer can be cured if diagnosed at an early stage and treated properly. Therefore, raising awareness about the disease and preventative measures is always crucial.
Key data on Cervical Cancer in Asia (2020)*
Leading Cause of Female Cancer
* HumanPapillomavirus and RelatedDiseasesReport, Asia - Version posted at www.hpvcentre.net on 10 March 2023 (https://hpvcentre.net/statistics/reports/XSX.pdf)
What causes cervical cancer?
Cervical cancer is caused by a virus called the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), which is transmitted via sexual contact. While HPV cannot be cured, it can be prevented with a vaccine that is effective against nine strains of the virus. Encourage your employees to get the HPV vaccine and urge female employees to get regular screenings - an early detection has a better chance of successful treatment.
Risk Factors for Cervical Cancer
There are several factors that can increase a person's risk of cervical cancer. These risk factors include:
Early sexual activity
Having multiple sexual partners
Previous HPV infection or exposure
A history of sexually transmitted infection such as Chlamydia or Gonorrhoea
Immunosuppressive conditions such as having HIV infection, taking medication that can lower your immune system or recipient of a solid organ transplant.
As an employer, you can limit the impact of these factors by promoting healthy behaviours and lifestyle choices.
Implement wellness programs that educate employees on the importance of maintaining a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly to improve overall immune system performance.
Make resources on reproductive health available to employees to encourage safe sex practices.
Incorporate educational seminars in your employee wellness program to raise awareness about cervical cancer. Provide information on the risk factors, symptoms, and preventive measures.
Encourage employees to empower themselves with knowledge and speak to their healthcare providers if they notice any unusual symptoms. Knowing the symptoms of cervical cancer can enable early detection and increase a patient’s chances of effective treatment.
Encourage open communication between employees and management regarding health issues—fostering a culture that emphasizes employee wellbeing.
Make it easier for employees to attend screenings by offering flextime so they can attend medical appointments without sacrificing their work.
All of the above can be further incentivized by covering such medical check-ups under employee benefits.
Encouraging early detection, reducing risk factors, creating a supportive environment, and promoting healthy lifestyles can help employees stay healthy and reduce the risk of cancer. It can also create a positive and meaningful shift towards fostering a culture of wellness and an informed workforce. Taking an active role in educating your employees about cervical cancer doesn't just help employees, it could save lives while positively impacting your company's bottom line.
So, don’t wait any longer, start incorporating cervical cancer awareness into your employee wellness program today. Talk to a Lockton representative today about your Employee Wellness Program:
Rhea Ablan, Head of People Solutions, Philippines | +632 811 0388 | firstname.lastname@example.org (opens a new window)
Stella Sung, Head of People Solutions, North Asia | +852 2250 2831 | email@example.com (opens a new window)
Shermayn Ting, Head of People Solutions, Singapore | +65 8511 0054 | firstname.lastname@example.org (opens a new window)