Socio-economic implications of cancer survivorship: results from the PROFILES registry

Eur J Cancer. 2012 Sep;48(13):2037-42. doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2011.11.030. Epub 2011 Dec 21.


Introduction: The goal of this large population-based study was to examine the socio-economic implications of cancer survivorship.

Methods: Individuals alive and diagnosed with colorectal cancer and melanoma between 1998 and 2007 or Hodgkin lymphoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma or multiple myeloma between 1999 and 2008 as registered in the Eindhoven Cancer Registry received a questionnaire on work changes and problems with obtaining a new (or extended) health care insurance, life insurance or a home loan; 70% (n = 2892) responded.

Results: Results showed that 28% of all cancer patients experienced changes in their work situation after cancer. Most of them switched to part-time work or stopped working entirely. Patients (3.4%) who tried to obtain a different or upgrade their health care insurance experienced problems and in most cases, these were eventually resolved. Problems with life insurance were somewhat more common with 18% of those who tried to obtain a life insurance experiencing problems. The majority of these patients was rejected by the insurance company (61%) or was accepted at a higher premium (22%). Of the 21% who tried to obtain a home loan, 9% experienced problems. However, 22.2% got accepted eventually, 27.8% got accepted but at a higher mortgage payment and 22.2% got rejected but were eventually accepted by another bank.

Conclusions: Almost a third of cancer survivors experienced changes in their work situation after cancer. Problems with obtaining health insurance, life insurance and home loans were also common.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Economics
  • Employment / economics
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Insurance, Health / economics
  • Insurance, Life / economics
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / economics*
  • Population Surveillance
  • Quality of Life
  • Socioeconomic Factors*
  • Survivors / statistics & numerical data*