Skip Navigation
National Cancer Institute

Projecting the Burden of Cancer Survivorship: Individual and Societal

Presentation 1: Economic Viability of the Cancer Survivor: Implications for Employment

Cathy J. Bradley, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI

  • Determining the true effects of cancer on the labor market is difficult because individuals without cancer also continually move in and out of the workforce.
  • In a study of women diagnosed with breast cancer, 31 percent were not employed 6 months after diagnosis, compared with 16 percent of women who are cancer free. In the long term, breast cancer survivors were 9 percent less likely to work than women who did not have cancer.<
  • Early diagnosis led to less disruption of employment; patients diagnosed with more invasive cancers were more likely to have problems working.
  • Men diagnosed with prostate cancer were 9 percent less likely to be employed than men without cancer, and surgery increased the chances that these men would be unable to work.
  • Work loss due to cancer treatment should be considered when deciding on treatment options, and interventions to improve recovery time and minimize economic loss should be emphasized.

View Presentation (PDF)