Employee Healthcare

PSA Testing and Men's Healthcare Screenings

04/04/2024 Written by: AP Employee Benefits

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many employers are seeing an increase in delayed detection of cancer and chronic condition diagnoses. In response to this trend, employers are looking for ways to encourage their employees to complete preventative screenings in hopes of early detection. Prostate cancer is a leading cause of cancer in men and early detection is crucial to the successful detection and treatment of the disease. According to the American College of Surgeons, 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, making it a fairly common condition amongst the male population. The American Cancer Society has reported there were approximately 300,000 new cases of prostate cancer in 2023 which led to nearly 35,000 deaths. As health plan sponsors, prioritizing early detection screening education and promotion throughout the year can help significantly reduce the number of advanced cancer diagnoses among your employees and their dependents.

Many cancer screenings are able to detect cancer before symptoms arise, leading to earlier diagnosis with more proactive and less invasive treatment options. While there is not a standard testing protocol for prostate cancer, PSA Testing is the most common method utilized by physicians to diagnose and monitor prostate-related disease. Prostate-Specific Antigen Tests, commonly known as a PSA Test, are able to detect antigen levels within the prostate and help determine if there are larger issues to be addressed, such as an enlarged prostate, infection, and cancer. PSA Tests are also used throughout Prostate Cancer treatment to monitor the effectiveness of treatment or detect the progression of disease. While the PSA Test is a useful diagnostic tool, additional diagnostic measures may need to be taken, such as manual digital screening or biopsy.

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Unfortunately, research has shown that men are less likely to seek out routine healthcare screenings and are less likely to visit their primary care physician. According to a study from the Cleveland Clinic, more than 50% of male respondents indicated that they do not receive regular health screenings; furthermore, 77% of respondents did not have knowledge of their family history of diseases. This becomes especially concerning when it comes to the detection and treatment of chronic and catastrophic health conditions such as cancer. The American Urological Association recommends that men from ages 45-69 speak to their primary care physician about conducting screenings for prostate cancer. For those at an increased risk of developing the disease, whether due to previous medical history or family history, it may be recommended to begin these screenings earlier.

As an employer, encouraging your employees to participate in regular healthcare screenings can help support your population's health goals, and catching new disease development early can help ease financial burdens both on the employee and employer. For more information on prostate cancer and to access resources to share with your employees, visit the Urology Care Foundation website here. As your organization looks to develop an employee communication plan about the importance of using their employee benefits to obtain the health care they need, reach out to your AssuredPartners team for support.

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