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Publication Abstract

Authors: Parsons HM, Harlan LC, Lynch CF, Hamilton AS, Wu XC, Kato I, Schwartz SM, Smith AW, Keel G, Keegan TH

Title: Impact of cancer on work and education among adolescent and young adult cancer survivors.

Journal: J Clin Oncol 30(19):2393-400

Date: 2012 Jul 01

Abstract: PURPOSE: To examine the impact of cancer on work and education in a sample of adolescent and young adult (AYA) patients with cancer. PATIENTS AND METHODS: By using the Adolescent and Young Adult Health Outcomes and Patient Experience Study (AYA HOPE)-a cohort of 463 recently diagnosed patients age 15 to 39 years with germ cell cancer, Hodgkin's lymphoma, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, sarcoma, and acute lymphocytic leukemia from participating Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) cancer registries-we evaluated factors associated with return to work/school after cancer diagnosis, a belief that cancer had a negative impact on plans for work/school, and reported problems with work/school after diagnosis by using descriptive statistics, χ(2) tests, and multivariate logistic regression. RESULTS: More than 72% (282 of 388) of patients working or in school full-time before diagnosis had returned to full-time work or school 15 to 35 months postdiagnosis compared with 34% (14 of 41) of previously part-time workers/students, 7% (one of 14) of homemakers, and 25% (five of 20) of unemployed/disabled patients (P < .001). Among full-time workers/students before diagnosis, patients who were uninsured (odds ratio [OR], 0.21; 95% CI, 0.07 to 0.67; no insurance v employer-/school-sponsored insurance) or quit working directly after diagnosis (OR, 0.15; 95% CI, 0.06 to 0.37; quit v no change) were least likely to return. Very intensive cancer treatment and quitting work/school were associated with a belief that cancer negatively influenced plans for work/school. Finally, more than 50% of full-time workers/students reported problems with work/studies after diagnosis. CONCLUSION: Although most AYA patients with cancer return to work after cancer, treatment intensity, not having insurance, and quitting work/school directly after diagnosis can influence work/educational outcomes. Future research should investigate underlying causes for these differences and best practices for effective transition of these cancer survivors to the workplace/school after treatment.

Last Modified: 03 Sep 2013