Ir­ish di­ag­nosed with breast can­cer younger

Irish Independent - Health & Living - - UPDATE -

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.

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