Employers can support breast cancer screening

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Cancer Prevention in Action Program is encouraging employers to help employees stay up to date with cancer screening, like mammograms, by adding a benefit for paid time off for cancer screenings.

Many women had to put their mammogram on hold because of COVID-19. In fact, all medical appointments that weren’t urgent were canceled. Now, health care professionals can see patients again for routine care, employers can help staff get these appointments back on their calendars.

In addition to potentially saving lives, being an employer who supports cancer prevention has other benefits. Studies find that employers who offer paid time off for cancer screening have a healthier workforce because staff are encouraged to get routine cancer screenings.

Paid time off is cost effective. Medical costs for cancer are high, cancer is the second leading cause of long-term disability. Cancer diagnosis is estimated to cost a business more than $1,600 annually in lost productivity for each employee diagnosed. Savings related to early detection of cancers pays for the costs of providing paid time off for cancer screenings.

One in eight women will develop breast cancer at some point in her lifetime. In New York state, 16,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, and more than 2,500 die from the disease. A mammogram can find breast cancer early, when it’s easiest to treat.

If you are an employer interested in creating a healthier workforce, saving lives and reducing business costs, contact the CPiA program at (518) 770-6815.


Program coordinator

Cancer Prevention in Action of Fulton, Montgomery and Schenectady counties


By Patricia Older