Workplace Solutions, Building a healthy workforce.

At the American Cancer Society, we are a volunteer-led organization working across public and private sectors to lead the fight for a world without cancer.  Our business partners are uniquely positioned to change the course of cancer in workplaces and communities, for employees and families, and for future generations of leaders.

Economics of Cancer

  • Prevention, early detection and better treatments have resulted in a 25% decline in cancer mortality in the U.S.; however, cancer is still the single biggest cause of death among working-age adults.
  • Noncommunicable disease, including cancer, is one of the most significant burdens on worldwide prosperity and productivity, resulting in an estimated cumulative loss of $47 trillion over the next two decades.
  • Cancer carries a disproportionate cost burden for employers; both direct healthcare costs (medical, disability, and insurance) as well as productivity losses are comparatively greater.

What Can Be Done

  • Employers can reduce cancer risk factors in the work environment through targeted improvements in facilities, services, and policies to prevent cancer.  Programs such as tobacco cessation and regular screenings are proven methods of decreasing cancer risk among employees and increasing early diagnosis, resulting in significant cost savings.
  • Nearly 50% of all cancer deaths in the U.S. can be avoided if individuals do not use tobacco products, maintain a healthy weight by eating a healthy diet and living a physically active lifestyle, avoid/reduce alcohol consumption, and follow age appropriate screening guidelines.1
  • Prevention is often substantively less expensive than treatment and small changes can have an impact on positive health outcomes that extend well beyond cancer prevention.

Getting Started

  • Employers often face barriers to reaching some employee populations; identifying opportunities to target health promotion and protection efforts can reduce absenteeism, improve health outcomes, and mitigate rising healthcare costs.
  • The American Cancer Society offers programs, communication tools, and information to support your organization in cancer prevention education, employee support and cancer-related health management.


1Siegel, R, Strategic Director, Surveillance Information Services at the American Cancer Society, Personal Communication on Monday, 30 January 2017.