The difficult return to work for cancer patients

The difficult return to work for cancer patients
The difficult return to work for cancer patients

EIn March 2022, Hélène, then aged 44, was diagnosed with breast cancer. A project manager at a mutual health insurance company, this executive living in the Paris region temporarily left her job in order to undergo an “intense” cycle of daily analyses and treatments.

“I was put on sick leave for six months while I was operated on and underwent radiotherapy,” recalls Hélène. At the end of those six months, in accordance with her wishes, she decided to return to work. “I had notified my employer of the reason for my leave as soon as I was diagnosed. During those six months of treatment, I was in constant contact with my managers, so that I could best prepare for my return. But then, when the day came, I collapsed at the occupational health department.”

21% of these women wait two years before returning to work

In France, according to the work of Gwenn Menvielle, Inserm research director and epidemiologist at the Gustave-Roussy Institute (Villejuif), Ines Vaz Luis, oncologist in the same team, and Agnès Dumas, sociologist and Inserm researcher, 21% of women who have had breast cancer are not working two years after their diagnosis.

The reasons are multifactorial and do not depend only on their state of health. “We have observed that older women, in more disadvantaged social situations, in physically more difficult jobs, but also who have had treatments […] Read more

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