SEOUL, Oct. 24 (Korea Bizwire) — While the risk of cancer is rising among Koreans in their 20s and 30s, plans for returning to society after treatment are still lacking, a non-profit organization said Sunday.
SWIMPYO surveyed 300 people in their 20s and 30s who had been treated for breast cancer, 90 percent of whom experienced a career interruption after being diagnosed.
Among the respondents, 98 percent also had to accept a lower income following cancer treatment and a return to society.
Prior to being diagnosed with cancer, they earned an average of 2.58 million won (US$1,790) per month. After cancer treatment, the average monthly income plunged to 870,000 won.
Career interruptions among young cancer patients, many of whom retain an unstable status in society, lead to difficulties in getting a new job.
A 34-year-old woman surnamed Lim who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016 returned from three years of medical treatment to look for a new job, and it wasn’t easy.
“If I told the employers about my experience with cancer, almost every one of them would ask me if I could do my job in such poor health. It feels like having contracted cancer in the past has become my criminal record.”
An amendment to the cancer management act, coming into force in June next year, will include provisions governing the “management of the post-treatment phase for cancer,” which will become mandatory for the state and provincial authorities.
Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)