Jobs help breast cancer survivors forget illness – study

  • 08/11/2015
Jobs help breast cancer survivors forget illness – study

Women recovering from breast cancer feel work is an important distraction from thinking about cancer all the time, according to a new global study.

A study of more than 500 breast cancer survivors employed during recovery found 89 percent believed work gave them something positive to focus on, while 96 percent felt it was a good distraction.

Overall, 92 percent said being in work had a positive impact on their recovery.

Almost all patients who worked said they felt positive about getting back to work and feeling more like "normal".

But fewer than half, 44 percent, valued the emotional support from colleagues.

When asked about the upsides of working, other than financial reasons, 61 percent said it provided a distraction from cancer, 59 percent appreciated the sense of stability, and 17 percent said they valued the practical support from their employer, such as access to counselling.

"This research shows that for some individuals, the working environment can actually play a therapeutic role when undergoing treatment or recovering from breast cancer," said Dr Fiona Adshead, chief wellbeing and public health officer at Bupa, which carried out the global study.

"For some, it's about having continuity in their lives during the turbulence of diagnosis and treatment, and for others it can be a positive focus for the future."