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How Employers Can Support Employee Cancer Survivorship

Analysis  |  By Melanie Blackman  
   December 02, 2020

In collaboration with CancerCare, the Northeast Business Group on Health has released a guide which shares the challenges that cancer survivors may face and how employers can support them.

Northeast Business Group on Health (NEBGH) released a new guide for employers on cancer survivorship Wednesday morning.

The free guide was created in collaboration with CancerCare to offer employers' HR departments "practical guidance on creating a workplace that supports people living with cancer and is productive for all."

The guide covers challenges that cancer survivors may face and how employers can support them. It also includes information on support organizations, employment laws and agencies, and recommendation checklists for employers.

According to the guide, employers can help employees with the following survivorship challenges:

  • Physical health
  • Mental and social health
  • Wellness and healthy lifestyle
  • Family and friends
  • Finances
  • Work

According to a NEBGH press release, nearly four in 10 Americans will be diagnosed with cancer at some point during their lifetime.

"With a growing number of cancer survivors in the workforce, employers need to better understand and be equipped to help support them, given the challenges these employees may face," Candice Sherman, CEO of NEBGH, said in a statement. "Some people are unable to work due to treatment or the effects of treatment, but many are able to continue to work or to return to work after some period. In fact, most cancer survivors are eager to work because it provides a coping mechanism, enables a sense of purpose and motivation, boosts self-confidence, fosters social support and aids in financial stability."

While cancer is on the rise, cancer survivorship has also increased, according to the organization. By 2040, survivorship will increase over 50% compared to 2019.

"There are encouraging statistics that show an increase in the number of people surviving with cancer but they often don’t reveal how survivors are faring physically, mentally, socially or economically," Patricia Goldsmith, CEO of CancerCare, said in the press release. "Employers can play a key role in this experience. With more survivors active in the workforce today and in the future, the challenges and opportunities posed by cancer survivorship are important to understand and support."

Melanie Blackman is the strategy editor at HealthLeaders, an HCPro brand.

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