Cancer sufferers need employers’ support, claims report

Cancer sufferers feel it is important for them to continue
working following diagnosis, according to research.

The survey commissioned by charity Macmillan Cancer Relief
shows that 7 out of 10 employees with cancer wanted to continue working because
it provided a sense of normality and maintained self-esteem.

However over 20 per cent of managers reacted negatively when
they were told that a member of staff had cancer, and 13 per cent claimed it
was made clear to them that they had to maintain their usual workload.

The Mori poll of 165 employees who had worked with cancer
also shows that over half claimed that colleagues had little or no knowledge of
the treatment and impact of cancer. Although 82 per cent did feel that their
colleagues had been supportive.

The most frequently cited problems were fatigue, anxiety and
stress. Of those who experienced fatigue, half claimed that they needed to rest
during the day and over a third claimed they couldn’t maintain their full
workload. Loss of concentration, depression and pain also affected a
substantial proportion of people.

Dr Jane Maher, chief medical officer of Macmillan Cancer
Relief, said, “It’s surprising how little knowledge people have on cancer and
how myths still abound. Our survey shows that this can make it harder for
people who are working while living with cancer. Employers’ support during key
periods such as treatment or recuperation can make all the difference.”

The charity is launching guidance for work colleagues and
employers.

By Mike Broad. Click here
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