Genetic epidemiology

Survivors of cancer in young age are more financially dependent

A new study recently published in Cancer studied all individuals born in Norway over a 20-year period (1965-1985), and compared those who received a cancer diagnosis before age 25 with those without cancer, with regards to receipt of governmental financial assistance, employment, income- and occupation discrepancies.


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The individuals were studied until they reached 22-42 years of age. We found an increased risk of the reception of governmental financial assistance (which is a temporary measure to cover basic subsistence costs), as well as a 40% increased risk of not being in paid employment, regardless of sex and for most large cancer types. The employed cancer survivors had a lower annual income (especially survivors of brain tumors and those diagnosed <15 years of age) than the cancer-free references, most probably due to working reduced hours. There were no differences in higher skilled occupation for the employed survivors, but some reduction in the representation in manual labor occupations, especially for male survivors of bone- and soft tissue-tumors. The findings of the study contributes to increasing the knowledge of adult life after cancer in young age, in an increasing part of the adult population (8 out of 10 now survives), and helps identify areas of challenge for these young individuals before becoming regular contributors to society, holding jobs and being able to support themselves and their families. Our findings indicate that those who have been able to enter working life successfully fare very well, and that resources should be centered around work (re)integration programs and supporting these young cancer survivors to enter the workforce, especially for survivors of brain tumors, testicular cancer and bone/soft tissue cancer.

First author of the study is Maria Winther Gunnes.


Link to the paper: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/wol1/doi/10.1002/cncr.30253/abstract

Link to to the interview in VG:  http://www.vg.no/nyheter/kreft/ny-norsk-forskning-om-unge-som-overlever-...