Work reintegration in an oncologic disease: fears and worries

With the diagnosis of cancer, negative emotions are triggered and can become uncontrollable and affect us in a significant way in our daily lives. Once recovered, theoretically we are ready to return to our daily activities, but on many occasions fears and very intense worries arise that can interfere with us when it comes to recovering our pre-illness occupations, including returning to work.

The return to normality is complex and depends on each case, and the fact is that cancer is a disease that today affects 1,500,000 people living in Spain and of which 222,000 new cases are registered each year. Since 40% of them are of working age and the survival and survival rate has doubled, returning to work is more of a goal than an objective.

How to get back to normal

The difficulties are going to be there. Excessive pressures, negative reviews, early retirements or non-renewal of contracts can jeopardize a patient’s complete rehabilitation. Absenteeism may be a short-term solution, but what it does in the medium and long term is worsen the problem and increase the patient’s frustration.

An active role in reincorporation, an attitude centered on confidence, flexibility and self-tolerance can be a guarantee of success. Psychological help is key in these cases to provide tools to the patient and help him/her to face this situation in an adequate way.

Fear of rejection

Fear of sharing the disease with the work environment for fear of possible rejection can be common among newly diagnosed patients. In some cases this situation generates anxiety and nervousness, while in others it gives them a sense of normality and helps them to face the disease with the greatest possible serenity. For this reason, specialists insist on making progress in the development of treatments that produce fewer sequelae and allow patients to return to work as soon as possible.