04 February 2022

Drop in cancer claims as pandemic delays screenings

4 min read

Eliot Woolfe
Eliot Woolfe

PR Consultant

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In support of World Cancer Day (4 February) Royal London is urging people to continually check themselves for early signs of cancer and raise health concerns with a GP.

Claims data published by the mutual insurer shows a 24% drop in total critical illness claims for cancer in the first year of the pandemic. This comes as many people delayed screenings as they didn’t want to burden the NHS; lockdown restrictions meant they couldn’t leave their home; or those who were vulnerable did not want to attend check-ups. All of which contributed to missed diagnoses and a drop in number of claims.

While total cancer claims fell between 2019 and 2020, lung cancer claims fell significantly more by two thirds (69%). Prostate cancer claims, the most common for men, fell 38% and breast cancer fell 17%.

Craig Paterson, Chief Underwriter at Royal London, said:

“As we saw in the first waves of the pandemic, far fewer people were seeing their GP with many delaying or struggling to secure what could have been a life changing check-up. As a result, many early signs of cancer were unfortunately missed which we saw reflected in our claims figures.

“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.

“World Cancer Day marks an important time to remind ourselves the fight is not over, and we should all take the time to continually check ourselves for early signs of cancer and raise any health concerns with a GP.”

-ENDS-