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Semin Oncol Nurs. 1992 Aug;8(3):202-11.

Vocational rehabilitation of cancer patients.

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Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California, Los Angeles 90024.


Indeed, cancer patients do face job discrimination. Empirical studies have shown evidences of personnel selection bias and many other work-related problems. Laws and legislation are good tools but are not the answers to most of the problems. A competent multidisciplinary rehabilitation team, a well-educated general public and employers, together with empowered cancer patients can do more towards eliminating destructive road blocks to the employment of the employable. This takes time and initially may be costly for all concerned. However, evidence has shown that the cost of closed cancer rehabilitation cases is the lowest per case for all occupational disabilities including tuberculosis, diabetes, mental disorders, heart disease, and orthopedic problems. In short, we dare not forget the simple truth put forth by Harold Dodds that "No, work is not an ethical duty imposed on us from without by a misguided and outmoded Puritan morality; it is a manifestation of man's deepest desire that the days of his life shall have significance." Cancer patients living with cancer desire significance to their days to the same degree that those of us who are healthy and well desire and need it.

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