Researchers’ goal was to use the cancer-work management conceptual framework to solicit ovarian cancer patients’ perspectives on job demands, cancer demands, and workplace or cancer services and techniques for managing the cancer-work interface. They enrolled people with ovarian cancer who were undergoing systemic medication and who had a Comprehensive Score for Financial Toxicity of less than 26, indicating financial difficulty. Participants were interviewed regarding care expenditures, including the impact on their ability to work. A total of 3 investigators recorded and transcribed the interviews verbatim before doing an inductive thematic analysis. Around 22 people took part in the study, with a median age of 57 years old, a 36% black representation, a 68% income less than $40,000, a 41% participation in public health insurance, and a 68% prevalence of recurrent disease. Lower productivity, inability to return to work, and anxiety about being laid off or losing access to employer-provided health care all contributed to increased stress on the job. Physical and mental restrictions brought on by cancer treatment necessitated the assistance of caretakers, particularly with transportation. Employers that were understanding, job responsibilities that could be adjusted, and taking time off for medical reasons were all the tools available to employees. Appointment scheduling in advance and tapping into underutilized resources like disability insurance were among the cancer care resources and strategies discussed. Care teams for people with cancer should think about conducting employment screenings, streamlining treatment so that patients and caregivers experience fewer adverse effects and spend less time and energy getting to and from appointments,  making the most efficient use of all available resources, and communicating with employers proactively to find solutions for those who still want or need to work despite their diagnosis.

Source: sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0090825822004930