Race Determined to Be a Major Factor for Employment of Breast Cancer Survivors

A new study by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis finds a racial disparity in women who experience job loss after being diagnosed with breast cancer. The study also found that employment status two years after initial diagnosis was not related to any clinical or treatment-related factors.

The data showed that African-American patients were four times more likely to leave the workforce despite fighting a cancer with high survival rates than was the case for White patients of the same age. The results also showed that African American patients were more likely to return to a lower-level job within the first two years of being cancer-free.

Christine Ekenga, an assistant professor of public health at Washington University and the lead author of the study, said that these results have major implications for health of cancer survivors. “Paid employment has the potential to mitigate the financial stresses associated with cancer,” she said. “Moreover, for women with breast cancer, employment could play a significant role in post-diagnostic health. Health benefits associated with employment include an increased sense of purpose, higher self-esteem, and a stronger sense of social support from others, all of which have been associated with improved quality of life.”

Dr. Ekenga joined the faculty at Washington University in 2016. She is a graduate of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where she majored in environmental science and chemistry. Dr. Ekenga earned a master of public health degree from San Diego State University and a Ph.D. in environmental health sciences from New York University.

The study, “Early-Stage Breast Cancer and Employment Participation After Two Years of Follow-Up: A Comparison With Age-Matched Controls,” was published on the website of the journal Cancer. It may be accessed here.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Two Black Historians in Higher Education Receive Prestigious Dan David Prize

Keisha Blain of Brown University and Cécile Fromont of Harvard University have received 2024 Dan David Prizes for their outstanding achievements as academic historians.

City of Hope Partners with Charles R. Drew University of Medicine to Advance Diversity in Cancer Research

“By working together, City of Hope and the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science aim to address health disparities and promote diversity in specialized medical fields, ultimately improving health care outcomes for the communities we serve," said David Carlisle, president of CDU.

Nine Black Leaders Selected for Administrative Positions in Higher Education

Here is this week’s roundup of African Americans who have been appointed to new administrative positions at colleges and universities throughout the United States. If you have news for our appointments section, please email the information to contact@jbhe.com.

All in the Family

Nelson Mandela once stated, “Education is the most powerful weapon we have to change the world.” One family that has taken that sentiment to heart is the Millet family.

Featured Jobs