Newly Released Survey Reveals the Majority of Cancer Patients and Survivors Want To Continue Working
Support is Necessary to Balance Health and Work Demands
NEW YORK, March 5, 2013 – Nearly 80 percent of cancer patients and survivors say continuing work after diagnosis aids recovery, according to a new survey from Cancer and Careers and Harris Interactive. Still, just as many respondents struggle to find support navigating the work/life balance of employment with cancer – which is where Cancer and Careers offers assistance.
As the only organization in the U.S. dedicated solely to serving people who work during and after cancer treatment, Cancer and Careers designed the survey with Harris Interactive to better understand and empower employed persons with cancer. Results indicate that several factors motivate cancer survivors to continue working, including feeling well, wanting to maintain a routine and wanting to be productive. At the same time, 67 percent of surveyed cancer patients and survivors said work/life balance was critical to having a career.
“As a breast cancer survivor, I know there are so many unknowns and questions you have when you receive a cancer diagnosis. That’s why it’s so important for people going through the cancer journey to feel supported in every aspect of their lives, particularly when it comes to work,” said Sonia Kashuk, creator, Sonia Kashuk Beauty, and Cancer and Careers board member. “Cancer and Careers is incredibly instrumental as a resource to help people navigate the practical challenges of balancing work and cancer.”
According to the National Cancer Institute, there were an estimated 13.7 million Americans with a history of cancer as of January 1, 2012, and approximately 1.6 million new cases are expected to be diagnosed this year. With more than 80 percent of cancer survivors returning to work after treatment, understanding the needs of the working patient is becoming more important.
Additional survey highlights include:
• More than half (60 percent) of survey respondents reported taking no time off or only a few days off before returning to work after diagnosis.
• Those newly diagnosed or currently in treatment were most eager to continue work. Almost three-quarters (73 percent) felt employment gave them a sense of purpose and was tied to their identity.
• Approximately 20 percent of the newly diagnosed or those currently in treatment also reported feeling that cancer prevented them from carrying out professional responsibilities, reaching their true potential or performing at the same level as their peers.
“For today’s cancer patient, diagnosis occurs earlier, drugs are more targeted and the stigma around the disease has decreased,” said Kate Sweeney, executive director, Cancer and Careers. “The free expert advice, interactive tools and educational events Cancer and Careers provides will help patients and survivors maintain a professional identity – one many suggest plays a key role in their overall well-being.”
About the Survey
Cancer and Careers commissioned Harris Interactive to conduct this survey to better understand the attitudes and behaviors of employed persons with cancer. A total of 400 respondents participated in the research. Respondents were 18 years of age or older, diagnosed with cancer and employed full- or part-time. The interviews were conducted online, between September 27, 2012 and October 3, 2012.
About Cancer and Careers
Cancer and Careers is the only U.S. organization solely dedicated to serving the growing population of people working during and after cancer treatment. Cancer and Careers empowers and educates people with cancer to thrive in their workplaces by providing expert advice, interactive tools and educational events. Cancer and Careers’ websites in English and Spanish inform more than 250,000 visitors per year, providing essential tools and information for employees with cancer. Cancer and Careers trains more than 1,000 oncology health care professionals each year, and its services are used by 84 percent of the top cancer centers in the United States.
About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Serving clients in over 215 countries and territories through our North American and European offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us - and our clients - stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.