Did you know that prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer to affect males in the UK? According to Cancer Research UK, over 48,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year and Prostate Cancer UK state that 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed in their lifetime.
But why should you raise awareness within the workplace?
Well, with the state pension age currently sitting at 66, but rising to 67 by 2028, it is likely that some of your workforce could be affected by prostate cancer.
What are the risk factors?
Prostate cancer most commonly affects men over 75, however, men who are black and men with a family history are two and a half times more likely to get prostate cancer. Research also suggests that obesity increases the risk.
It is recommended that black men, and those with a family history, should consult with their doctor about a PSA test when they reach 45 years of age. All other men should be having this conversation at 50.
What are the symptoms?
It’s important that men are aware of the possible warning signs of prostate cancer. These can include:
- Frequent urination
- Weak or interrupted urine flow, or the need to strain to empty the bladder
- The urge to urinate frequently at night
- Blood in the urine
- Blood in the seminal fluid
- Discomfort or pain when sitting
How to get tested for prostate cancer
There’s no single test for prostate cancer however, the most used tests are:
- Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) test
- Digital Rectal Examination (DRE)
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan
At Healthy Performance, we support hundreds of businesses with their wellbeing strategy through our range of health and wellbeing services, including PSA testing. Our PSA tests are available to those aged 40 or over within our onsite employee health assessments and are quick, easy, and painless for the participant.
The process involves one of our trained healthcare professionals simply taking a blood sample from the fingertip of an employee, and then sending the blood sample to our laboratory. The results are then provided within two weeks but often much quicker than this.
We began carrying out Onsite Health Assessments at Thames Water in 2013 and have saved the lives of 13 employees with the early detection of prostate cancer.
Promoting Prostate Cancer Awareness in the Workplace
Raising awareness is all about starting conversation. By starting this conversation you could be encouraging your employees to get themselves check, or even getting them to speak to their friends and families about their potential risk.
We encourage all workplaces to discuss Prostate Cancer, amongst many other health concerns with their employees and we’ve put together some of our top tips in promoting them in the workplace.
- Utilise awareness months: there are two national focuses on men’s health each year with ‘March for Men’ (organised by Prostate Cancer UK) taking place in March and Movember taking place annually in November. Use these campaigns as ice breakers to get the subject being discussed amongst employees and by using a national campaign, employees often feel like they are part of a bigger movement. You can often find free resources on these campaign websites to help with your workplace promotion also.
- To raise awareness all year round, you can use free resources from the charity Prostate Cancer UK. Request leaflets on diet and lifestyle, or guides to common prostate problems and place these in staffrooms, canteens or on notice boards around the workplace. To go one step further, you can organise an awareness talk with Prostate Cancer UK where a trained volunteer will come along and give a talk directly to your team.
- Ensure full utilisation of your internal communications channels. You can rotate free resources from Prostate Cancer UK, or the Healthy Performance Take 5 library in an email or monthly newsletter to remind employees of the symptoms and the importance of getting themselves checked.
To find out more about PSA testing from Healthy Performance, please visit: https://www.healthyperformance.co.uk/employee-health-checks/