People tend to be surprised when hearing that cancer patients continue or return to work during cancer treatment. In their traditional ideas, cancer patients are those who need an entire rest and stay away from any work. However, it is not true for some cancer patients.
Relevant research showed that more than half of cancer patients return to the workplace within two years after being diagnosed with cancer, thanks to an improved survival rate.
The study published in the Journal of Cancer Survivorship found that increased work functioning help cancer patients reduce fatigue and depressive symptoms. Going back to work may render cancer patients more positive and confident toward life, and they can find fun when occupied to a job.
The research recruited 384 specific cancer patients and made an 18-month follow-up cohort study. Patients’ work functioning, health status, and work-related factors were repeatedly measured at baseline, 6, 12, and 18 months after going back to work.
The results showed that cancer patients experienced an increase in work functioning and a decrease in the fatigue and depressive symptoms in the first 12 months, and this status remained stable between 12 and18 months. Besides, as working hours increase, cancer patients need less social support from the guardians like supervisors or colleagues in the first 6 months after returning to work and it remained stable between 6 to 18 months.
When beginning back to work, about 22% working time cancer patients had difficulties meeting the demands of the job due to health problems. 12 months after returning to work, this figure decreased to 15% and remained stable between12 to18 months. The difficult cancer patients face is small, and their working ability is the same as that of the normal people one year later.
For patients, cancer is a stumbling block on the road of life, but life is always going to move forward, and returning to work is a good choice if patients are in poor physical conditions and health professionals also support this.