A recent Wall Street Journal article on updated breast and colon cancer guidelines offers a useful reminder on the importance of following recommended cancer screenings, in terms of better outcomes and lower costs.

First and foremost, by following a recommended cancer screening schedule, a physician can detect the disease at its earliest stages — ideally before symptoms have appeared. Better still, being proactive about screenings and wellness exams can help prevent cancer from occurring altogether.

In addition, regular cancer screenings ensure that patients can receive the most effective treatment, leading to higher survival rates. For example, women whose breast cancer is detected at Stage I have a 90% survival rate of 5 years or more; if not detected until Stage IV, the survival rate drops to 28%.

And of course, there is the financial consideration. For instance, treatment costs for colon cancer detected in stages I or II will range from $10,000 to $50,000… but the same cancer detected in stage III or IV can cost upwards of $300,000 or more to treat.

The updated criteria for the top two cancers, per the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force:

  • Breast Cancer: Recent task force guidance recommends that women at average risk should get mammograms every other year starting at age 40 until age 75.
  • Colon Cancer: The task force recently lowered their recommended starting age for colorectal cancer screenings from age 50 to 45. For colonoscopies, people at average risk should be screened every 10 years up to age 75.

MedBen WellLiving builds these criteria into a comprehensive prevention and early detection system for MedBen clients. In addition to providing a guide to recommended wellness screenings based on your group’s demographics, we offer members screening reminders via our MedBen Access online portal and mobile app so they can monitor their current compliance with recommended wellness and cancer screenings.

By integrating this comprehensive system into their plans, WellLiving clients save, on average, 5.8% compared to non-WellLiving clients.

For more information on how MedBen WellLiving can help promote cancer prevention to your employees, contact us at 888-627-8683.