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Employees Diagnosed with Cancer: Current Perspectives and Future Directions

Leadership, Mental Health, Psychosocial Factors, Return-to-Work
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For cancer survivors, participating at work is of great importance. Work gives them structure, social interaction and financial security. However, returning to work can be complex. The work environment, health care system and several stakeholders can be of influence. One of the key stakeholders in the process is the employer. Employers are in the position to guide the cancer survivor back to work and to create good working conditions. Thereby, employers can facilitate work participation of cancer survivors.

Learning Outcomes

The important role of the employer for work participation of cancer survivors.
When and how to communicate with an employee with cancer as an employer.
Tips and tricks for enhancing the collaboration between health professionals, cancer survivor and workplace (employer, colleagues).
Communication between cancer survivor and his or her employer should start early to achieve a satisfactory dialogue. That is, to prevent misconceptions about preferences and possibilities to stay or return to work, and about when and how to keep in touch.
Assumptions regarding the individual importance of work are easily made, but may prevent mutual understanding.
Effective collaboration between stakeholders is key factor to enhance work participation.


Michiel Greidanus
Michiel Greidanus is a PhD-student at the Coronel Institute of Occupational Health of the Amsterdam UMC, location AMC, in The Netherlands. His PhD-project is about the Return to Work (RT) of employees diagnosed with cancer, with a focus on the role of the employer. He developed an online intervention that supports employers during the RTW process of employees diagnosed with cancer. This online intervention consists of communication video's, to the point information and is easily accessible for employers. Additionally, he developed a new measurement instrument that measures successful RTW. Michiel is also involved in education of medical students.
Sietske Tamminga, PhD
Dr. Sietske Tamminga is an assistant professor at the Coronel Institute of Occupational Health of the Amsterdam UMC, location AMC, in The Netherlands. The focus of her research is on enhancing the return to work (RTW) of cancer survivors by supporting the cancer survivor, the employer or healthcare professionals. She is involved in the supervision of PhD students and has been involved in the training of nurses on cancer and work. She published many peer reviewed scientific articles on cancer and work as well as articles for a lay audience. She obtained among others funding from the Dutch Cancer Society

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