Purpose. As a result of improved prognosis of many kinds of cancer, an increasing number of cancer survivors are able to return to work after their treatment. Previous studies have indicated that cancer does not have a great impact on the survivors’ employment and that cancer survivors usually are able to return to work. However, the research on the effects of testicular cancer on work ability is scarce, and among the few published studies no proper reference group has been used. The purpose of this study was to increase our knowledge of the work ability for long-term testicular cancer survivors (TCSs), compared with an age-matched cancer-free male population sample.
Methods. Participants were 1.326 Norwegian TCSs treated between 1980 and 1994. Norm data was obtained from 6.630 age-matched controls. Participants provided information about their work ability, medical, social and familial situation on a questionnaire.
Results. There was no significant differences between the employment rate of TCSs (86.5 percent) and the controls (87.8 percent). A significant association was found between TCSs‘ employment rate and post orchiectomy treatment principles. Further, the TCSs reported increased health problems compared to controls, for instance concerning anxiety disorders, gastrointestinal complains and vascular diseases. TCSs were also to a larger degree physically inactive and showed reduced self esteem compared to controls. In multivariate analysis TCSs’ employment skills was associated with high education and treatment surveillance without subsequent relapse (SURV). Disability pension, unemployment benefits, economic difficulties, vascular diseases and anxiety were all correlated with unemployment.
Conclusion. This study showed that the majority of TCSs were able to continue working, in line with previous research. As a whole they experienced higher degree of impairment in health due to their illness than male controls from the general population.