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Br J Cancer. 2008 Feb 26;98(4):708-15. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6604236. Epub 2008 Feb 19.

Employment status and work-related difficulties in stomach cancer survivors compared with the general population.

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  • 1Research Institute and Hospital, National Cancer Center, 809 Madu dong, Ilsan gu, Goyang si, Gyeonggi do 411-769, Korea.


Little was known about work situation and work-related difficulties, including housework after stomach cancer diagnosis. We aimed to compare employment status and work-related difficulties between stomach cancer survivors and the general population. We enrolled 408 stomach cancer survivors from two hospitals 28 months after diagnosis and 994 representative volunteers from the general population from 15 geographic districts. Working was defined as being employed (including self-employed) and nonworking as being retired or a homemaker. Nonworking was significantly higher among stomach cancer survivors (46.6%) than in the general population (36.5%). Compared with the general population, the survivors had more fatigue in performing both housework (adjusted odds ratio (aOR)=2.08; 95% confidence interval (95% CI)=1.01-4.29) and gainful work (aOR=4.02; 2.55-6.33). More cancer survivors had reduced working hours (aOR=1.42; 95% CI=4.60-28.35) and reduced work-related ability (aOR=6.11; 95% CI=3.64-10.27) than did the general population. The association of nonworking with older age and being female was significantly more positive for survivors than for the general population. Among survivors, poorer Eastern Cooperation Oncology Group Performance Status and receiving total gastrectomy were positively associated with nonworking. Stomach cancer survivors experienced more difficulties in both housework and gainful employment than did the general population. Our findings on stomach cancer survivors' work-related difficulties and the predictors of nonworking will help physicians guide patients towards more realistic postsurgical employment plans.

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