The latest from Royal London who have tracked a worrying pattern over the course of the pandemic. Less screening, fewer face-to-face GP appointments all adds up to a missed chance to diagnose and treat conditions early;
In support of the annual event, Movember, which focuses on raising awareness of men’s health issues, Royal London is encouraging men to raise health concerns as early as possible to ensure early treatment.
It comes on the back of claims data released by the mutual insurer showing a worrying fall in claims in men between 2019 and 2020. Claims for the most common cancer, prostate, fell by half (47%), while claims for testicular cancer were 38% lower.
Craig Paterson, chief underwriter at Royal London, said:
“The strain placed on the NHS as a result of the pandemic understandably caused interruption to the usual health screening programmes. With access to GP surgeries also impacted, conditions such as prostate and testicular cancer have gone undiagnosed for longer.
“As a result, our overall claims last year for critical illness conditions were a fifth lower than expected, with the number of claims for testicular cancer down by a half. We know that the early detection of conditions, especially cancer, ensures that treatment can start sooner, which in turn boosts the overall survival rates. The concern is that delays in diagnosis will mean more intensive treatment is required and, tragically, the likelihood of greater deaths.
“As the NHS recovers and screening programmes resume, we’d urge people to take any health niggles seriously and raise any concerns with their GP. The Movember movement is a great cause. We all need to help raise awareness, beat stigmas and motivate everyone to lead healthier lives, which includes being alert to symptoms that don’t seem right.”