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Partner Content (Unum): The challenges of cancer in the workplace

Over half of employees with cancer felt they may have returned to work sooner had they received better support.

An employee diagnosed with cancer can find their world turned upside down. During this stressful and often confusing time, work can offer an oasis of normality. However, the experiences of those who choose to work through a cancer diagnosis can vary widely.

Employers too, may be unsure how to broach the subject, what to do or say during the ups and downs of treatment, or how to make the employee’s working day as comfortable as possible.

According to Cancer Research UK, 1 in 2 of us will develop cancer during our lives1, while Macmillan predicts that 4 million people will be living with cancer in 20302.

In 2015, an estimated 890,000 people of working age were living with cancer in the UK and this is estimated to increase to 1,150,000 by 20303. How organisations tackle cancer in the workplace and embrace colleagues with cancer will become even more vital. 

Unum surveyed 300 working men and women in the UK who had received treatment for cancer within the last five years. The results shine a light on the true state of play of cancer in the workplace today, and the steps employers can take to ensure those who want to work, can work. 

Download the full findings from Unum’s ‘Cancer in the Workplace’ research here.

1. https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/health-professional/cancer-statistics/risk
2. https://www.macmillan.org.uk/_images/cancer-statistics-factsheet_tcm9-260514.pdf
3. Macmillan – The Rich Picture – People of working age with cancer