Work is central to many people’s lives. It provides financial benefits to support individuals and their families, it is central to many individual’s social lives and it can play an important role in promoting one’s physical and mental health. For many employment is a defining characteristic of who they are.
Following a diagnosis of cancer most people are forced to re-evaluate their work circumstances. Some are able to continue employment largely uninterrupted. Others are forced or choose to cease work permanently as a result of the effects of the disease or as a result of a re-evaluation of their lives following the diagnosis. Some are forced to reduce or cease their work for physical and psychological reasons during the intense period of treatment following the diagnosis.
A team of researchers in United States led by Dr Michael Feuerstein have developed a model of work in cancer survivors which summarises many issues that may impact on work after cancer. The model is reproduced here with permission from Feuerstein M, Todd BL, Moskowitz MC, Bruns GL, Stoler MR, Nassif T, et al. Work in cancer survivors: a model for practice and research. Journal of cancer survivorship : research and practice. 2010;4(4):415-37.