Changing the conversation about work and cancer

Research Reports

IES/WWC Survey: Cancer & Employment Survey Summary of Key Findings Stephen Bevan and Barbara Wilson

Despite an encouraging increase in survival from cancer in recent years the proportion of people living with cancer who return successfully to work remains disappointingly low. In this survey of over 1,200 people living with cancer, we explore the factors which make a successful, sustainable and fulfilling return to work more likely, and explore the barriers which remain for those returning to work during or after treatment.

You can find the summary of key findings here

All.Can Patient Survey: ‘Patient insights on cancer care: opportunities for improving efficiency’

All.Can international have released a new report titled ‘Patient insights on cancer care: opportunities for improving efficiency’.  The report reveals findings from an international survey on the patient perspective of inefficiencies in cancer care. With insights from almost 4,000 patients in more than 10 countries, the report identifies four key areas of opportunity for improvement:

1. Ensure swift, accurate and appropriately delivered diagnosis
2. Improve information-sharing, support and shared decision-making
3. Make integrated multidisciplinary care a reality for all patients
4. Address the financial impact of cancer

You can find the full report here

Important initial research findings about the psychological engagement of people returning to work after cancer

In 2018, WWC supported a research study conducted by our associate Andrew Parsons at the University of Hertfordshire.  Andrew (with his Supervisor Dr Colleen Addicott), presented his initial findings at the British Psychological Society, Division of Occupational Psychology meeting in Chester on the 9th January 2019. The title of the talk was “The aftershock of  coming back to work: Work engagement in Cancer Survivors”.

To read about their initial research findings click here

‘I have cancer but I want to work. Working rights of cancer patients’. An initiative of the ABC Global Alliance

Meeting Report

‘I have cancer but I want to work. Working rights of cancer patients’. An initiative of the ABC Global Alliance  7 November 2018, European Parliament, Brussels, Belgium.

On 7 November Barbara Wilson took part at an event at the European Parliament in Brussels, organised by the ABC Global Alliance, calling on European politicians and policymakers to implement consistent and flexible policies to enable cancer patients and cancer survivors to return to work.

Barbara had three key messages for the meeting:

There must be a consistent EU-wide framework that supports all people with cancer who face discrimination in the workplace.
It is possible for most people with cancer, even those who are terminally ill, to continue to work if they wish to do so
Information must be given to employers and employees on what to expect during and after cancer treatment and how to manage at work. This means regular communication about the side-effects of treatment and having the flexibility to make adjustments for a gradual and successful return to work

To read the full report of the meeting click here

Transforming Breast Cancer Together: White Paper publication

The Transforming Breast Cancer Initiative today published a White Paper, which provides a comprehensive evaluation of the status of breast cancer prevention, diagnosis and care across Europe, and identifies concrete actions which would help to ensure equal access and better outcomes for patients across Europe.

To address these challenges, the initiative renewed its ‘Call for Change’, launched in April 2018, which constitute 9 policy tasks aimed at improving breast cancer prevention and care. These include the need to address the differences in cancer care across European Member States, the importance of diagnosing and treating breast cancer in the early stages, the need for support in the workplace for patients suffering from breast cancer, and the unique needs of patients with advanced/metastatic breast cancer.

Working With Cancer® is a key participant in the group – which currently includes MEPS Lieve Wierinck (Belgium), Elena Gentile (Italy), and Cristian-Silviu Bușoi (Romania) who have been working on this. To read the White Paper in full click here

Cancer in The Workplace Report: Role of Coaching

Last year Barbara Wilson contributed to a project run by the Economist Intelligence Unit, commissioned by Bristol Myers Squibb, about Cancer in the Workplace.

The report concludes that there is significant room for improvement in company policies and practices to strengthen workplace support for those affected by cancer and those steps are: improving access to information, providing coaching and establishing support groups for employees and setting a health and well-being strategy that makes provision for cancer. Working With Cancer® can support you in all of these respects: with coaching, training and consultancy services. The report is now out and below is a link to it.

Other key reports and publications

Rethinking cancer The Big ‘C’

Quantifying the social and economic impact by Helen Creighton, Brian beach and Sally-Marie Bamford

Published by ILC

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After the Treatment Finishes – Then What?

Article by Dr Peter Harvey, Consultant Clinical Psychologist

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Moving Forward With or After Breast Cancer: Dr Jane Clark

Many of you will be familiar with the work of Dr Peter Harvey (see above) published on the Cancer Counselling Trust’s website in 2004 about the psychological impact of cancer. Just after he retired in 2007, Peter spent six months updating the work with the help of Dr Jane Clark who is now a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Lead for the psychology team into cancer services in a large NHS Trust in the north of England. Many people found Dr Harvey’s work to be very helpful so when Sara Liyanage (the Founder of Ticking Off Breast Cancer) asked Jane to write a short article on life after cancer this spurred Jane, during lockdown, to refresh the information. She did this with Dr Harvey’s approval and her revised series of articles is available below.

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Living with Lymphoma

Download a new useful resource from the Lymphoma Association to help those affected by lymphoma

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