Cancer and Careers’ semi-annual online survey, conducted between August 22nd through September 19th, 2022, by The Harris Poll, was designed to better understand the experience of 905 cancer patients and survivors, from diverse backgrounds, who are either employed or unemployed but looking for work.
Below are some key highlights from the 2023 survey:
- Nearly two-thirds (64%) believe that people who have been diagnosed with cancer want to work – slightly more than a quarter strongly agree with this sentiment (26%).
- The primary reasons adults diagnosed with cancer want to work are financial (65%), the sense of purpose provided (45%) and desire for things to feel as normal as possible (40%).
- Around two-thirds (67%) agree people who have been diagnosed with cancer are aided in their treatment and recovery by working.
- Around 3 in 5 adults (61%) believe people diagnosed with cancer are compelled to work because it gives them a sense of purpose and is tied to their identity.
- Around three-quarters of adults diagnosed with cancer who worked/are working during treatment (76%) feel that doing so helps/helped them cope - 43% strongly agree.
- Hispanic adults diagnosed with cancer are more likely than their White peers to agree (90% vs. 74%).
- Among adults diagnosed with cancer who are employed full/part time or worked at the time of their diagnosis, more than three quarters (77%) shared the news of their diagnosis with their supervisor/manager – followed by coworkers/colleagues (63%) and HR (43%). Less than a tenth (9%) told no one at work.
- Black adults with cancer were less likely than their White counterparts to have disclosed their diagnosis to their supervisor/manager (66% vs. 78%) or co- workers/colleagues (50% vs. 64%); but were more likely to have shared with HR (59% vs. 40%).
- Around a fifth of adults employed full/part time who also disclosed their diagnosis (21%), report they have encountered insensitive or offensive comments regarding their cancer diagnosis.
- Black and Hispanic adults are more likely than their White counterparts to feel this way (40% and 28% vs. 19%, respectively).
- Around a tenth of adults diagnosed with cancer say their race or ethnicity (11%), gender identity (11%), or their sexual orientation (10%) played a negative role in how they were treated at work before their cancer diagnosis.
- A similar proportion of adults diagnosed with cancer who disclosed their diagnosis, report their race or ethnicity (11%), gender identity (11%), and their sexual orientation (11%) played a negative role in how they were treated at work after their cancer diagnosis.
- • Nearly 3 in 10 adults diagnosed with cancer who are employed full/part time and have HR are hesitant to reach out to HR (29%).
- Most commonly because they do not think they could help (32%), do not want to be treated differently (30%), are concerned about how they would react (28%), or believe HR would put the company needs over theirs (27%).
- Hispanic adults with cancer are more likely to be hesitant to reach out to HR for support compared to their counterparts (48% vs. 31% Black, 26% White).
For more on these results, or for access to the full report, please email email@example.com.