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Returning to work by thyroid cancer survivors 5 years after diagnosis: the VICAN survey

Abstract : Purpose: Return to work (RTW) following cancer diagnosis is a challenge for both the patient and society. As thyroid cancer (TC) incidence is increasing, this study aims to assess difficulties in returning to work and income changes in TC survivors 5 years post-diagnosis. Methods: This study belongs to the national VICAN survey conducted in France among TC patients diagnosed between January and June 2010. Data were collected through phone interviews, medical surveys and from the national medico-administrative register in 2012 and 2015. We used multivariate logistic regressions to investigate TC impact on employment and income changes. Results: Of 146 patients, 121(82.9%) were women; the mean age was 42 years (SD = 8.34), 119 (81.3%) were diagnosed at an early stage, and 142(97.6%) underwent thyroidectomy. At 5 years post-diagnosis, 116 (79.7%) of the TC survivors were professionally active, 22 (15.4%) were unemployed and 8 (4.90%) were receiving disability. Among the patients employed at the time of diagnosis (n = 122), 15 (12.3%) had not returned to work 5 years post-diagnosis. Between 2 and 5 years post-diagnosis, there was no significant improvement in rates of RTW. At 5 years post-diagnosis, 90 (61.6%) reported an income decline. All TC survivors who have not returned to work were women and declared higher fatigue. Moreover, in multivariate analyses, not returning to work was associated with weight gain (OR = 8.41 (1.21; 58.23)) and working arrangements (6.90 (1.18-38.48)), while income decline was associated with comorbidities (OR = 2.28 (1.07; 4.86)) and to be engaged in manual work (OR = 2.28 (1.07; 4.88)). Conclusion: This study highlights that, despite a good prognostic, up to 12.3% of TC survivors had not returned to work and 61.6% reported an income decline, 5 years post-diagnosis. Weight gain, fatigue, to be a woman and working-type arrangement were associated with higher probability of not returning to work. Implications for cancer survivors: TC affects a young working population. Our study identified potentially vulnerable TC survivors and important modifiable factors which may help TC survivors to be professionally active and, therefore, increase their overall quality of life.
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Submitted on : Monday, April 25, 2022 - 2:02:34 PM
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G. Creff, F. Jegoux, M.-K. Bendiane, E. Babin, I. Licaj. Returning to work by thyroid cancer survivors 5 years after diagnosis: the VICAN survey. Journal of Cancer Survivorship, Springer Verlag, 2021, Online ahead of print. ⟨10.1007/s11764-021-01074-y⟩. ⟨inserm-03650991⟩



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