Results of a recent survey by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) on the effects of paid medical leave on individuals with cancer, their caregivers and people in remission indicate a positive experience.
Among cancer patients and survivors who used paid leave, 80 percent said it helped with finishing treatment, 70 percent said they coped better with symptoms and side effects and 64 percent reported being able to afford treatments, according to an ACS CAN release.
Approximately half of patients in the first-of-its-kind questionnaire had access to paid medical or family leave. While only 43 percent of caregivers said they had that benefit, 60 percent of those considered their caregiving capacities enhanced by the benefit.
“Having access to paid leave is important when thinking about the entirety of cancer patients’ needs,” ACS CAN President Chris Hansen said in the release. “Cancer is an incredibly intense, time consuming and costly disease.”
Hansen added that among individuals undergoing cancer treatment, two-thirds of those working for large companies with over 1,000 staffers reported paid medical leave access, compared to just over one-third of those employed by small firms with fewer than 100 workers.
“Being able to take time off to receive and complete necessary treatment, or to care for a loved one undergoing treatment, without sacrificing one’s career, or overall economic well-being makes a difference,” Hansen said.