Dinorah Martinez Tyson Silvia Sommariva Aria Walsh-Felz Peggie Sherry Joanne Sandberg


Employment plays an essential role in cancer survivorship. The study emerged from needs identified by community partners who voiced concerns about employment-related issues encountered by cancer survivors. Thus, the purpose of this exploratory study is to understand the experiences of minority women cancer survivors after cancer. We explore how type of occupation shapes the work-related outcomes of minority women cancer survivors. A community-based purposive sample of diverse cancer survivors (n=57) who reported working shortly before being diagnosed with cancer were administered a semi-structured questionnaire. Close-ended responses were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Open-ended responses were analyzed using applied thematic analysis techniques as well a Crisp Set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA).  Work-related concerns were similar across occupation types, while disparities were observed in reported job loss rates after diagnosis and employment rates after treatment. Women’s concerns related to productivity losses at work due to treatment side effects, disease management issues, fear of job loss, and economic concerns. The QCA pathway that appeared to best explain the outcome of working after treatment completion included the following components: working during treatment, having employer-based health insurance and being eligible for medical leave (perception of). This study provides relevant insights on the work experience and concerns of minority women cancer survivors, a population segment that has been frequently underrepresented in the literature on survivors’ work outcomes after cancer diagnosis and treatment.