December 1st 1995
Mark Rothstein and colleagues have tackled a difficult and sensitive subject: the existence of, and reasons for, employment discrimination against cancer victims. Employment discrimination in any chronic disease is not uncommon, but may be even more widespread in cancer patients, whose treatment is very lengthy, often physically or mentally debilitating, and usually exceedingly expensive. Because improved therapeutic approaches to the treatment of cancer have led to increased rates of survival, there will be more and more survivors in our society in the future. In pediatric cancer, therapeutic advances continue to increase the survival rate, which now is estimated at about 70% overall . Thus, the potential for increasingly greater numbers of employable cancer survivors is high. And with children, although representing only 1% of all cancers, the actual number of person-years saved will be exceedingly high . Adult cancers are diagnosed at more advanced age and in many cases the patient is near retirement age. Nevertheless, the issue of employability and job discrimination is very important to resolve.