Irish diagnosed with breast cancer younger
Women in Ireland are being diagnosed with breast cancer younger than their European counterparts.
A report by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) said that in Ireland, 66pc of women are diagnosed before the age of 65, compared with 55pc in the EU as a whole.
Meanwhile, women aged 40-64—the years where breast cancer risk and employment most overlap— are a growing part of the workforce.
According to data, between 2012—when Ireland’s economic recovery began—and 2015, labour force participation for these women rose from 60.1pc to 63.1pc, while in the population as a whole, employment went up much more slowly, by 0.7pc overall.
The Pfizer-sponsored study investigated the challenges involved in returning to work for a growing number of female breast cancer patients and survivors of a working age in Europe. Many of these women are of working age, and wish to participate in the labour force following treatment.
It found this is not possible for many women. The reasons for not returning to work are varied, and often include having to overcome the physical consequences of cancer treatment, as well as non-medical barriers including the lack of employer or colleague support.
The report said that employers need to have more policies in place to support them.