The experience of returning to work following cancer is a largely unknown area of cancer research. This preliminary study aimed to explore the factors that influence decisions about return to work eitehr during or after cancer treatment and to identify the important aspects of returning to work. Qalitative data were collected using individual interview (n=19) and two focus groups (n=4, n=6), predominantly with breast cancer survivors. Patterns of returning to work were diverse and a variety of reasons influenced work decisions, including financial concerns and regaining normality. Participants also discussed their ability to work, health professionals' advice, side effects, support and adjustments, and attitudes towards work. Although the majority adapted well, a few encountered difficulties on their return. It is evident that more advice is requried from health professionals about returning to work, along with reasonable support and adjustments from employers to ensure that cancer survivors are able to successfully reintegrate back into the workforce
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