Cancer and treatment effects on job task performance for gynecological cancer survivors

Nancy M. Nachreiner, Ryan M Shanley, Rahel G Ghebre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Over 91,000 new cases of gynecological cancers are expected to be diagnosed in 2013 in the US alone. As cancer detection technology and treatment options improve, the number of working-Age cancer survivors continues to grow. Objective: To describe US gynecological cancer survivors' perceptions of the effects of cancer and treatment on their job tasks. Participants: 104 adult gynecological cancer survivors who were working at the time of their cancer diagnosis, treated at a University-based women's health clinic, diagnosed in the previous 24 months, and spoke English. Methods: Women completed written surveys to describe their work experiences following diagnosis. Clinical characteristics were obtained through medical record review. Descriptive statistics and cross tabulations were performed to describe characteristics and associations. Results: Fifteen percent of women had chemotherapy and radiation treatment; 48% had only chemotherapy, 9% only radiation therapy, and 28% had neither. Survivors described the frequency of performing seven job tasks, such as 'intense concentration', 'analyzing data', and 'lifting heavy loads.' Women who had undergone radiation treatment were more likely to indicate limitations for physical tasks; women undergoing chemotherapy were more likely to report limitations in more analytic tasks. Only 29% of women noted an employer-based policy facilitated their return-to-work process. Conclusions: Cancer and treatment have important effects on job performance and may vary by type of treatment. Employer-based policies focusing on improved communication and work accommodations may improve the return to work process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433-438
Number of pages6
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2013


  • Accommodations
  • survivorship
  • work


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