22% of cancer patients feel pressured to return to work

Cancer patient-2015

Just under a quarter (22%), of cancer patients felt pressured to return to work straight after finishing treatment, although only 6% said they were under pressure from their employer or colleagues to do so, according to research by Bupa.

Its research, which surveyed 205 adults who have completed treatment for cancer and returned to work, also found that 20% of respondents were concerned whether they were still fit for their role.

The survey also found:

  • 70% returned to work because they wanted things to be as normal as possible, which 52% said it was financially necessary to do so.
  • More women than men felt self-conscious going back to work with 26% and 15% respectively saying this was the case.
  • 33% aid it would have helped their treatment process if there was greater awareness among employers about the challenges of cancer after treatment.
  • 48% said they were enthusiastic to get back to work following cancer treatment, while 41% said they were happy to return.
  • A quarter (25%) felt emotionally drained after treatment.
  • Around a tenth (13%) of respondents said they were tempted to not return to their role once they had completed treatment.
  • 30% thought work would help their recovery.

Jayne Molyneux, cancer healthcare manager at Bupa, said: “Once cancer treatment has finished it can be a very challenging time. Everyone reacts differently and patients tell us that their feelings range from being grateful for their recovery to isolation and exhaustion.

“The decision to return to work is a very personal one but we find that most are keen to get back to the life they had before diagnosis.

“Importantly, this research shows that many patients (33%) would have found it helpful if there was a greater awareness among employers about the ongoing effects of cancer after treatment.

”Therefore, employers and colleagues must be aware that not everyone responds to being back in their job in the same way and will require ongoing support in different ways.”

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