The Impact of Cancer Around The World & In the Workplace

Cancer is the second leading cause of death around the world with nearly 1 in 6 deaths resulting from cancer.

In the UK, someone is diagnosed with cancer every 2 minutes.

In 2014, there were 163,444 deaths from cancer. That’s 450 deaths every day.

In 2015 there were 359,960 new cases of cancer. That’s almost 1,000 every day.

This week, news broke that prostate cancer deaths have overtaken those from breast cancer.

Almost half of all cancers in England are diagnosed at a late-stage. Raising awareness and encouraging people to seek medical advice could greatly impact this figure and save many, many lives.

It is an unfortunate statistics but incidence rates for all cancers combined are projected to rise by 2% between now and 2035.

What is World Cancer Day?

World Cancer Day is a global event that takes place on the 4th February every year. It seeks to unite the world’s population in the fight against cancer.

Awareness and education are some of our greatest weapons against cancer. Catching the disease at a late stage makes it that much harder to fight – in many cases, impossible. Bringing it to the forefront of the global psyche for even just one day can impact lives by encouraging people to seek medical advice, educating them on cancer symptoms and pushing governments to take action.

Cancer in the Workplace

In the UK, more than 112,000 people of working age are diagnosed with cancer each year. It is important for employers to know how to support their staff should such a misfortune occur within their team.

Ways an employer can help:

  • Check your policies are up to date regarding sickness, absence and leave. You may even want to introduce a specific cancer policy.
  • Ensure you meet your legal obligations, as those affected by cancer have legal rights at work.
  • Staff education is important to help co-workers understand how to deal with a sick colleague. Mangers should be provided training to help support their employees.
  • Offer private medical insurance to staff to ensure they are seen quickly by a specialist should they need a GP referral. For many, the waiting period and the sense of uncertainty can be worse than the actual diagnosis.
  • Give employees access to 24 hour help line support helpline through an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP). Should an employee feel worried about a health issue that is affecting them or a family member, they have an immediate support and advice service.
  • Raise awareness within your own business. As mentioned many times, cancer is not as easy to treat if caught at a late stage. By educating staff and raising awareness you might be able to encourage employees to seek medical advice earlier.


Statistics taken from research conducted by Cancer Research UK