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Most Cancer Patients Return to Work after Diagnosis

The majority of cancer patients return to work following diagnosis, according to doctoral research carried out by Taina Taskila at the University of Helsinki. Employment among cancer patients stood at 64 percent two to three years after their diagnosis. The employment rate of the control group was 73 percent. "Employment levels of cancer patients also clearly varied according to education and the type of cancer involved. Those with higher education were more likely to be employed following their diagnosis," Taskila said. Taskila's research focused on the effects cancer has on employment, the ability to work following illness, and support received at the workplace. She analysed two databases containing 46,312 and 12,542 records respectively. The data was compared to controls of similar numbers. Before illness, the employment rate stood at 78 percent for both groups. About 34 percent of those who are diagnosed with cancer end up retiring within a few years. For the control group, the number was 27 percent. Those suffering from leukaemia or cancer of the central nervous system were twice as likely to stop working compared to those who suffered from other cancers. Meanwhile those diagnosed with melanoma did not retire more often than those in the control group. "The majority of people diagnosed with cancer return to work. There are however some people who retire early. They tend to feel their ability to work has diminished and they do not receive enough support at work," she added. YLE

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