Have you ever found yourself feeling particularly tired and losing weight, or found a lump you hoped would go away because you can’t fit in a doctor’s appointment? Our bodies are constantly changing, and most of the time these changes are harmless, but occasionally they can be a sign that something is wrong. Worryingly, our recent research reveals that over a quarter of employees would leave it up to a month before seeking medical help for potential cancer symptoms.
Not only this, but one in ten admit to putting their health in danger by cancelling or rearranging a GP or hospital appointment for a potential cancer symptom because of demands at work. Of these, nearly four in five have had to do this more than once.
However busy you are at work, it’s important to get any worrying symptoms checked out as soon as possible, as a delay in diagnosis can affect treatment options and could even have an impact on your chance of survival.
Although work is important, it shouldn’t come before your health. Fewer than half of people we surveyed said that their immediate concern would be resolving the problem, and a third admitted that their first worry would be getting time off work for appointments and treatments, ignoring their health in favour of work.
It’s also important to be aware of how your workplace may affect your chances of getting cancer. Two thirds of employees never thought they could actually be increasing their risk of developing cancer while at work, and only one in five thought sitting down for long periods of time at work could increase this possibility, even though research has found that people who spent 10 or more years in sedentary work have nearly twice the risk of developing a type of colon cancer.
Some employees were also unaware that cancer can be caused by a number of factors that may be related to work or found in the workplace. These include:
- Cleaning fluids
- X-rays or radiation
- Passive smoke inhalation
If you work with any of these substances make sure you are aware of these potential health risks so you can take appropriate steps to manage them.
Most importantly, if you notice a change in your body that worries you, put your health first and seek medical help as soon as possible!
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