Mentally, Physically Demanding Jobs Linked to Unemployment After Breast Cancer Surgery

The effect of a breast cancer diagnosis on work life can vary from person to person. For some people, the effect is minimal because they have an understanding supervisor, a flexible schedule, and a supportive team helping them during treatment.

For other people, taking time off for treatment may put their job at risk.

Past research suggests that people who have been treated for breast cancer are more likely to be unemployed compared to people who have never been diagnosed. Researchers wanted to figure out the risk factors for unemployment after breast cancer treatment so they could develop strategies to offset the risk factors.

A review study has found that people with mentally and/or physically demanding jobs are more likely to be unemployed after breast cancer surgery.

The study was published online on May 14, 2018 by the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Read the abstract of “Predictors of Unemployment After Breast Cancer Surgery: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies.”

This study was a meta-analysis. A meta-analysis combines and analyzes the results of many earlier studies. In this case, the researchers reviewed 26 studies that included 46,927 people diagnosed with breast cancer looking at the factors associated with unemployment after breast cancer surgery. The studies were done before March 1, 2017.

An observational study is a study that observes people or measures certain outcomes. The researchers make no attempt to affect the outcomes.

The researchers found a link between jobs with high psychological demands and high physical demands and a higher likelihood of unemployment after breast cancer surgery.

High psychological demands included:

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