That’s according to a study of more than 1,300 people, aged 18 to 39, who got BMT for leukemia, lymphoma and other serious illnesses.
Researchers found that most people, but not all, returned to work within 3 years after transplant:
- 50% worked full-time
- 10% worked part-time
- 20% were unemployed
- 20% were medically disabled
People were more likely to be unemployed 1 year after transplant if they:
- were women,
- were too sick to work before transplant,
- had acute graft-versus-host disease (a serious complication of transplant),
- or their cancer or disease came back.
People were more likely to be working 1 year after transplant if they:
- had a graduate degree, such as a master’s degree or doctorate,
- or got a standard intensity preparative regimen before transplant called myeloablative conditioning without total body irradiation.
It’s not clear why 20% of young adults were unemployed after 3 years. Possibly, they were still sick from cancer or side effects of transplant.
If health problems are keeping you from returning to work, ask your doctor about physical or occupational therapy. Also, a social worker may help you find job training and other useful programs.