Experiences of cancer patients’ return to work

Debbie Kane, Dale Rajacich, Chantal Andary


Purpose: This study explored the experiences of cancer survivors remaining in the workforce, or transitioning back into the workforce following treatment.

Methods: Using an exploratory qualitative design, eight individual interviews were conducted with participants undergoing treatment for various cancer diagnoses, all of whom were employed prior to their cancer diagnosis. 

Findings: Participants revealed that work provided them with a sense of normalcy, purpose, and personal identity. All but one participant voiced the benefits of having a supportive work environment. Many also sharedthey had experienced financial burden and were unaware of where to seek financial assistance.

Conclusion: Future research needs to further explore how the healthcare team and employer can promote supportive work environments and increase cancer survivors’ awareness and access to financial resources. 

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