Memorial Sloan Kettering Researcher Examines Disparity in Job Retention in Breast Cancer Patients


Breast cancer affects one in eight women in the United States, with approximately 70 to 80 percent of employed breast cancer survivors returning to work three to eighteen months following diagnosis.  Job loss can have devastating financial consequences, including increased risk of bankruptcy and debt. Employer accommodations, such as schedule flexibility, have been shown to result in job retention in higher-income white women, but until now the role of such accommodations in job retention among low-income minorities has not been well understood.

Victoria Blinder, MD, medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering, conducted a longitudinal study of a racially and ethnically diverse sample of employed women undergoing treatment for stage I-III breast cancer in New York City. The study provides strong evidence of a disparity in employer accommodations and job retention that affects women in low-income households and provides recommendations for reducing this disparity. For more information on this study, published in Health Affairs on February 6, 2017, and to speak with the study author, contact [email protected].