The Economic Impacts of Breast Cancer

A research paper published by the Canadian Breast Cancer Network underlines that the economic costs of cancer are huge due to a lack of supportive public and workplace  policies.

As they say ” we may think of breast cancer as a health condition, but it is also an economic condition.”

Based on surveys of former patients, they find that the average duration of treatment was 38 weeks. Since many lacked employer sick leave benefits and since Employment Insurance sickness benefits last for a maximum of 15 weeks, and replace only 55% of earnings , most patients experienced significant losses of household  income due to lost earnings and the out of pocket costs of treatment.

Loss of household income averaged almost $12,000.

The proportion of patients with full-time jobs fell from 61% before treatment, to 45% after treatment. Some had their jobs terminated, while others could not return to work due to the after-effects of treatment and lack of accommodation in the workplace.

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