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Long-Term Economic and Employment Outcomes Among Partners of Women With Early-Stage Breast Cancer.
Veenstra CM, Wallner LP, Jagsi R, Abrahamse P, Griggs JJ, Bradley CJ, Hawley ST. Long-Term Economic and Employment Outcomes Among Partners of Women With Early-Stage Breast Cancer. Journal of oncology practice / American Society of Clinical Oncology. 2017 Nov 1; 13(11):e916-e926.
Work loss is one of many personal costs for patients with cancer and their families. Many women with breast cancer face long-term job loss that stems from their diagnoses. However, little is known about the economic and employment outcomes of partners of women with breast cancer.
Women with nonmetastatic breast cancer identified by the Detroit and Los Angeles SEER registries between June 2005 and February 2007 were surveyed at both 9 months and 4 years after diagnosis. Partners were surveyed 4 years after patients' diagnoses. Nonretired partners were asked about employment and financial consequences that stemmed from the patients' breast cancer diagnoses and treatments.
A total of 517 (67%) of 774 eligible partners completed the survey; 32% reported worsened financial status attributed to patients' breast cancers. Two hundred forty nonretired partners worked during the year after the patients' diagnoses; 90% were still working 4 years postdiagnosis. A total of 32% of partners decreased their work hours as a result of patients' breast cancer diagnoses and treatments; 64% of partners reported that, as a result of patients' breast cancer diagnoses and treatments, it was very/extremely important to keep working to keep health insurance. Overall, 51% of partners reported that it was very/extremely important to avoid changing jobs, because they were worried about loss of health insurance.
Nearly one third of partners reported that their financial status was worse because of the patient's breast cancer, although most remained working 4 years after a diagnosis. Partners may continue to work longer than desired to compensate for a loss of financial resources in the family.