The road to a better normal: Breast Cancer patients and survivors in the EU workforce

October 10, 2017


October 10, 2017

Aviva Freudmann


Aviva has nearly 40 years of experience as a journalist, researcher and editor covering a variety of industries, including healthcare, financial services, insurance and risk management, transport, logistics, energy and environmental protection.


Societal and medical trends in Europe are intersecting to increase the number of breast cancer patients and survivors who are likely to want to work.

The road to a better normal: Breast cancer patients and survivors in the EU workforce is an Economist Intelligence Unit report, sponsored by Pfizer. It investigates the challenges involved in the return to employment for a growing number of breast cancer patients and survivors of working age. In particular, it examines the growing number of women in this situation who wish to work, the barriers to doing so, and how key stakeholders could help.

The findings of this briefing paper are based on extensive desk research and interviews with a range of healthcare experts. As part of the research, EIU Healthcare—an Economist Intelligence Unit company specialising in evidence-based healthcare— conducted focused, systematic searches of relevant medical and other databases. The report also benefited from the guidance of an international advisory board of experts in the field. None of the members of this board or any of the other interviewees received financial support or expense reimbursement from the sponsor.

Our thanks are due to the following advisory board members and interviewees for their time and insight (listed alphabetically):

  • Kathi Apostolidis, vice president, European Cancer Patient Coalition
  • Liz Atkinson, chair, Patient Support Working Group of the Association of European Cancer Leagues; and head of Care Services, Cancer Focus Northern Ireland
  • Pascale Breton, director of consulting, Groupe Prévia
  • Liz Egan, lead, Working through Cancer Programme, Macmillan Cancer Support
  • Peggy Maguire, director general, European Institute of Women’s Health
  • Bo Rix, head, Documentation and Development & Patient Support and Community Activities, Danish Cancer Society
  • Taina Taskila, research fellow, Health and Society Research Group, University of Greenwich
  • Maggie Wilcox, patient advocate, Independent Cancer Patients’ Voice
  • Barbara Wilson, founder, Working With Cancer
  • Jacci Woodcock, campaign founder, Dying to Work

The Economist Intelligence Unit bears sole responsibility for the content of this report. The findings and views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsor. Paul Kielstra was the author of this report, and Aviva Freudmann was the editor.

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