Factors associated with the employment status of breast cancer survivors: a single center cross-sectional study

Fatih Yildiz, Mehmet Erdem Alaguney


Background: Breast cancer survivors constitute a big proportion among all female cancer survivors and the employment status of breast cancer survivors is an important public health issue. The aim of the study is to evaluate the effects of some demographic properties and the treatment modalities used for breast cancer on patients’ employment status.

Methods: This is a single-center cross-sectional study. We assessed 2550 patients with breast cancer for eligibility. Face to face interview was performed with 688 breast cancer survivors. A total of 249 patients who had an income-generating job before diagnosis and completed at least 1 year after surgery and/or adjuvant radiotherapy, chemotherapy for breast cancer were included in the study. The job loss rate of the patients was evaluated according to their demographics, clinical features and treatment methods applied for breast cancer. Univariate and multivariate analyses were used in order to show these associations.

Results: The job loss rate of the whole study group was 49.4% (n=123). Adjuvant radiotherapy was associated with continued employment, however, neither adjuvant chemotherapy nor hormone therapy had no association. Higher level of education, higher household income, being a public officer, and having a breast-conserving surgery was associated with continued employment in breast cancer survivors.

Conclusions: The prior employment as a private sector employee should not be a determinant for losing job. Therefore, improvements or modifications should be made for this factor in order to keep breast cancer survivors in working life.


Job loss, Breast cancer, Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy

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