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Employers face uncertainties surrounding cancer in the workplace

Posted on February 26th, 2013 Read time: 1 minutes

Every year, more than one million people get cancer and thanks to advances in medicine, survivors of the harmful disease make up a significant portion of the workforce. Nearly 90 percent of survivors under 55 will return to work within one year of being diagnosed.

Because cancer in the workplace is still a relatively new, complex concept, many employers are grappling to come to terms with associated medical costs and benefits.

To help businesses better understand the disease and how it affects their organization, and workers, the National Group on Health and National Comprehensive Cancer Network have created An Employer's Guide to Cancer Treatment and Prevention.

"The need for resources to help employee benefit managers address cancer in the workplace was becoming apparent," Liz Danielson, director of payer and employer initiatives at the cancer network, told Workforce magazine. "Most employee benefit directors are good generalists, but very few have the time and expertise to delve into cancer-related issues."

The guide is part of a three year project to raise awareness of cancer among employers. One of the main goals of the initiative is to create a comprehensive benefits plan specifically for workers affected by cancer.

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