Many cancer survivors are willing to return to work after defeating their illness. However, there remains a possibility that due to their illness they will encounter physical and social difficulties at work. In her dissertation M. Soc. Sc. Taina Taskila studied the effect of cancer on employment and work ability as well as social support and the need for support in the working environment.
The impact of cancer on employment was studied using data from the Finnish cancer registry. The first data set consisted of 46 312 and the second of 12 542 working-age people with cancer. Both data sets also included an equal number of referents without cancer. Before becoming ill, the employment percentage in both groups was 78%. “2-3 years after the diagnosis the employment percentage of those with cancer was 64% while for the control group it was 73%. However, even among the people with cancer the employment situation varied according to education and cancer type: the probability of being employed was greater in the higher than in the lower educational groups,” Taskila notes.
The retirement rate among the people with cancer was 34% whereas it was 27% among the control group. Yet also the retirement rate varied greatly according to the cancer type. Those with leukemia or cancer of the nervous system were twice as likely to retire as the control group, whereas there were no differences in retirement numbers between people with skin cancer and their referents.Taskila also studied the emotional and practical support the cancer survivors had received from their colleagues, supervisors and occupational health care. The data set, attained by a questionnaire, consisted of 640 cancer survivors.
The cancer survivors wished for more support particularly from the occupational health care personnel. Especially the men who had lymphoma, had received chemotherapy or had a low education level wanted more support.
The working ability of cancer survivors was studied by a questionnaire survey, the study consisting of 591 cancer survivors and of a control group of 757 people without cancer. The study showed the current overall working ability of cancer survivors did not differ from that of the control group. Yet 26% of people with cancer reported that their physical work ability and 19% that their mental work ability had deteriorated due to cancer. The cancer survivors who felt that their work ability had become worse had more often other illnesses or had received chemotherapy. However, those with a strong commitment to their work organization, or a good social climate at work, reported impairment less frequently.
“The majority of people with cancer are able to return to work. Yet there is a group of cancer survivors who leave working life early, have impaired work ability due to their illness, and suffer from a lack of social support from their work community”, Taskila comments. She concludes that more attention should be paid to the factors that deteriorate the possibility of the cancer survivors returning to work – both in treatment and in the workplace.
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Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
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