Student loans are not the only reason young adults are getting into debt. One of the largest labor-related studies in cancer survivors among young adults found that 872 survivors had 14.4% borrowed over $ 10,000 and 1.5% said they or their families were claiming bankruptcy as a direct result of illness or treatment. Fifty-eight percent of respondents say that cancer or treatment interferes with the physical needs of their work, and 54% say that cancer or treatment has broken their ability to perform mental tasks related to their work. The study also showed that not all cancers, not all treatments, have the same effect on the financial performance of young survivors. For example, those who are exposed to chemotherapy have more than three times more likely to take over $ 10,000 and more than three times more likely to report work-related mental damage than survivors who are not treated with chemotherapy.
"This project combines the expertise of researchers with a variety of training from the major cancer centers in the United States into a team-based approach that has made it possible to collect and research data from adolescents and young people who have survived cancer in new ways. is among the first and largest studies to study the impact of cancer diagnosis and treatment on work-related outcomes in this important group of survivors, "says Betsy Rissendal, a researcher at the Center for Cancer Diseases at the University of Colorado and an associate professor at the Colorado Public Health School, which includes academic medical centers in Seattle, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, New York, Boston and Chapel Hill.
The study examined 872 young adults aged 18 to 39 years within 5 years of cancer diagnosis but at least one year after the end of treatment. Participants included 241 breast cancer survivors, 126 thyroid cancer survivors, 126 survivors of leukemia / lymphoma and 342 survivors of other cancers. Interestingly, these types of cancer are treated with different therapies and the types of therapy are associated with various long-term, work-related side effects.
For example, young adult patients treated with breast cancer chemotherapy had a 2.66 risk of mental impairment for work-related tasks and 2.62 times the risk of unpaid work-related compared to breast cancer patients who did not receive chemotherapy. Survivors from the large category of other cancers show a 3.67-fold greater probability of mental impairment of work-related tasks and 3.43 times the risk of over $ 10,000 in loans compared to survivors of more common types of cancer. While the degree of specific risks varied from the type and treatment of cancer, the risks of debt, leave (paid and unpaid) and work-related disability (physical and mental) were increased entirely for young cancer survivors.
"The results of this study are important because they describe the challenges faced by adolescents and young people during and after cancer treatment that could affect both educational and working opportunities," says Rhysendal.
Young cancer survivors have a high risk of endocrine disease
Tyler G. Ketterl et al., Permanent effects of cancer and its treatment on employment and finances in adolescents and young people who have survived cancer, Cancer (2019). DOI: 10.1002 / cncr.31985
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For young adults who have survived cancer, debt and work-related disabilities (2019, 25 February)
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