The Second Battle: Side effects of chemotherapy may lead to unemployment years later

NBC News

POSTED: Monday, April 28, 2014 - 9:50am

UPDATED: Monday, April 28, 2014 - 9:53am

The effects of a breast cancer diagnosis may continue long after treatment ends.

A new study from the University of Michigan finds one third of early-stage breast cancer patients who are treated with chemotherapy are unemployed four years after treatment, and not because they don't want to work.

Many had trouble keeping a job because of all the time they missed for appointment and procedures.

Others had long-term effects from chemotherapy, like numbness in their limbs or trouble thinking and concentrating.

"I have one patient who put sticky notes all over her computer, it wasn't' what she did before. But it's how she's adapting to keeping herself organized after chemotherapy," says Dr. Jennifer Litton of the MD Anderson Cancer Center.

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