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July 1, 2009

Employment Status Among Cancer Survivors

JAMA. 2009;302(1):32-35. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.904

To the Editor: As authors of 7 of the original US studies included in the meta-analysis of cancer and employment by Dr de Boer and colleagues,1 we question the interpretation of our data and the authors' interpretation of their own findings. First, our research did not study “unemployment” among cancer survivors. Unemployed people are looking for work and cannot find it. Very few of the nonworking survivors in our studies were looking for work. Many had retired, some were disabled or in treatment, and others shifted to other pursuits. It would be misleading to suggest that survivors are turned down for jobs more frequently than the general population.