Researchers found that three-quarters of women treated for breast cancer were employed 16 months after their diagnosis ‘€“ this number is in line with the employment rate of Swedish women in general.

And of the women who were working before their diagnosis, 72 percent went back without any change in their schedules. Fifteen percent had cut back on their hours, while 11 percent had not gone back at all. The findings were reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

“It is a very positive finding that the majority of breast cancer patients return to their prediagnosis working time,” lead researcher Marie Hoyer, of Uppsala University in Sweden, said in a Reuters Health report.

Women who had undergone chemotherapy appeared to have a tougher time returning to work than those who’d had surgery and radiation. One-quarter of chemotherapy patients had cut down on their work hours, compared with six percent of other women.

According to Hoyer, this is not surprising since other studies have found that chemotherapy seems to take a toll on people’s work life. It is important that patients and doctors discuss potential adverse effects of treatment, Hoyer said. They might try to schedule their treatments to make it easier for women to balance with work, or give them more help in managing side effects.

Source: Reuters Health


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