Bupa, the global health and care company, has joined 250 leaders from government, UN agencies, academia, private sector and civil society at the 2015 World Cancer Leaders’ Summit (WCLS), organised by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), in Istanbul. To be discussed are the urgent actions needed to scale up international collaboration and reduce premature deaths from cancer and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs), by a third within the next 15 years.
Currently over eight million people die from cancer worldwide each year, and the estimated total annual cost of cancer was approximately 1.16 trillion USD in 2010. In terms of lost output, this is estimated at somewhere around 8.3 trillion US dollars – from lost productivity due to sick days, medical costs, and employees who do not to return back to work after having had cancer. Half of those who die from cancer-related illnesses are in the prime of their productive years, which has a huge impact on businesses.
To support employers in addressing the impact of cancer, Bupa is launching a suite of materials at the World Cancer Leaders’ Summit in partnership with the UICC, focused on improving cancer prevention and early detection through workplaces, and designed to support both employers and employees living and working with cancer.
‘Working with cancer’ offers advice from around the world to employers on how to implement comprehensive frameworks and a supportive culture for cancer survivors returning to work.
‘Cancer – it’s everyone’s business’ looks at how businesses and cancer organisations can work together to combat cancer.
‘Less smoking, better business’ is a practical toolkit designed to help employers implement a quit smoking initiative as part of a wider employee health programme.
‘Tackling breast cancer in the workplace’ offers information for best practice workplace policies that will support positive behaviours that reduce the risk of breast cancer.
A recent global study from Bupa with 632 breast cancer survivors found that 89% felt that working during treatment gave them something positive to focus on – however, they also felt that employers could do more to support their recovery and journey back into the workplace.
Dr. Fiona Adshead, Chief Wellbeing and Public Health Officer at Bupa, commented: “Investing in cancer prevention and detection is not only the smart thing to do but the right thing to do – healthier employees come to work, perform at their best and go the extra mile to improve the business’s performance.
“In addition, supporting cancer survivors to come back to work retains experienced employees and helps sustain a resilient, productive employee base.”
The 2015 WCLS Summit will also focus on the importance of collaboration in the fight against cancer; both cross-border and through public and private partnerships.
Bupa is delivering a joint session with the UICC on the topic of ‘Managing conflicts of interest in collaborations’ led by Dr. Fiona Adshead, addressing some of the myths and perceived cultural divides can hamper cross-sector health collaborations.
She added: “The UN’s recently announced Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) challenge us all to work in partnership, share knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources to drive forward the healthcare agenda.
“Creating an effective, collaborative response against NCDs requires cross-sector and cross-industry action – it can’t be achieved by any one business, nor one sector alone.”
Bupa’s cancer in the workplace collateral can be downloaded from:
Full press release on www.bupa.com