Last week we released the findings from our 2015 national survey with Harris Poll to better understand the needs and attitudes of currently employed and unemployed U.S. cancer patients and survivors. The online survey was conducted among 913 cancer patients and survivors in the U.S. between May 6 and June 3, 2015. It found that nearly three in four patients and survivors want to work; however, working and searching for work can be challenging after a cancer diagnosis.
Most cancer patients and survivors said they feel that work aids in their recovery; they see it as a way to feel normal, and it helps them maintain their identity during a time when a lot of things feel out of their control. That being said, working post-diagnosis does present some challenges.
Those who are working reported that fatigue is the most common day-to-day challenge. Approximately one-third have had to take days off — and one in five is worried that doing so will affect their job stability.
These findings point up the need for resources to support patients and survivors who want to (or must) continue working following a diagnosis.
Other key findings include:
- 73% of employed survivors surveyed reported that working during treatment helped them cope.
- 68% of employed survivors surveyed reported that their primary reason for continuing to work during treatment was financial concerns.
- More employed women (39%) than men (30%) reported that their work negatively impacts their treatment; however, more women (78%) than men (66%) feel working during treatment helped them cope with their cancer.
- Of those who are working and who underwent treatment, more women than men (63% vs. 50%) faced challenges and were more likely (20% vs. 13%) to work a reduced schedule.
- People of color are more likely to report negative impacts on work and treatment than are their white counterparts, with 22% vs. 11% feeling that work took away from the time they needed to focus on recovery.
- 18% of people of color were advised by a healthcare professional who treated their cancer to stop working during treatment, compared to 9% of white people with cancer.
For the complete findings and press release, click here.