Australians diagnosed with cancer wish to return to work ASAP but lack adequate support: new study
Aon and CancerAid announce new partnership
Sydney, 4 February 2021 - Aon (NYSE:AON), the leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions, has today announced a new partnership with CancerAid to support Australian employees and their families affected by a cancer diagnosis.
More than half of cancer patients (52 per cent) want to return to work but many (44 per cent) say they lack the support to do so, according to results of a new study.
The research study, an analysis of Australian participants of the CancerAid Coach Program, found more than 79 per cent of Australians were adversely affected by anxiety and fears of recurrence, highly impacted by side effects of treatment (44 per cent) and sleep disturbance (37 per cent).
Aon and CancerAid, an Australian-based digital health company, are marking World Cancer Day on 4 February by announcing the partnership delivering support to employees diagnosed with cancer, as well as employees providing informal cancer care to a family member.
“COVID-19 has of course been front of mind for all of us this past year, but many other critical illnesses, like cancer, remain as prevalent as ever. And when someone is diagnosed with cancer, the other aspects of a person’s life – including their career – doesn’t just stop there. But working during treatment, or returning post-treatment, is understandably challenging. In addition, many people will know a colleague who has been affected in some way by a cancer diagnosis, and knowing what to say and how to react within an organisation is especially challenging. This partnership and program will ensure the right support is offered to those impacted by cancer and their family members,” said Shannon Anderson, Placement Leader – Health and Benefits at Aon.
The CancerAid Coach Program provides evidence-based support for employers, delivered via award-winning technology and health coaching, along with organisational training and advice on employee communication, team relations and meaningful return to work.
Professor Michael Boyer AM, oncologist and Chief Clinical Officer at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse said the things that happen in the hospital, the high tech and often very expensive part, is only a very small part of a person’s cancer journey.
“The often bigger impact that can be made for someone is four to eight weeks after they leave the hospital setting. If done right, you can support people in getting back on their feet, bring them more confidence, resilience and help them in getting back to life - and that also includes the workforce.”
“Most people who are diagnosed with cancer while in employment wish to continue their work and there are many benefits to this, including for their self-esteem, normalcy and quality of life. However, we find that many are hampered by the effects of their disease or treatment, like fatigue, poor sleep and anxiety. Unfortunately, not having the right support or those important conversations around return to work prevents them from doing so,” said Dr Raghav Murali-Ganesh, Radiation Oncologist, CEO and Founder of CancerAid.
Since 2019, CancerAid has supported over 1,000 working-age Australians impacted by cancer. The research analysis was performed in November 2020 and examined all past program participants.
Aon plc (NYSE:AON) is a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions. Our 50,000 colleagues in 120 countries empower results for clients by using proprietary data and analytics to deliver insights that reduce volatility and improve performance.
About Cancer Aid
CancerAid was founded in 2015 by oncologists looking to empower people to better manage their care and take back control of their diagnosis.
Co-founder Dr Raghav Murali-Ganesh saw the potential for technology to assist his patients with managing their care. The founding members of the CancerAid team noticed that empowered and supported patients achieved better health outcomes – these experiences helped shape what we offer at CancerAid today: behavioural change and education programs designed to enable organisations and people affected by cancer to thrive.