All posts by Tracy Herd

Tracy Herd

About Tracy Herd

Tracy is the Project Manager for the European Men’s Health Forum and also an independent health improvement specialist. Her current clients include Movember, Working with Men and the Royal Society of Public Health. She previously led the Men’s Health Programme for the Royal Borough of Greenwich and was the Deputy Chief Executive for the Men’s Health Forum (UK) for three years.

MEN, WORK AND CANCER: a guide for men staying or returning to work after a cancer diagnosis

In November the European Men’s Health Forum launched a unique guide to support men staying or returning to work after a cancer diagnosis.  The first resource of its kind and funded by the Burdett Trust for Nursing in the UK and BMS it answers all the questions that working men whether employed, self-employed or freelance have when cancer strikes.

Why a guide for men?

Although there is a lot of health information about living with cancer out there little of it is targeted at men specifically addressing their particular needs and worries about work issues.

Men are much more likely than women to develop and die from cancer. Survival rates are improving and many more men are living for longer with cancer. This trend coincides with a rising retirement age in the UK and across Europe, meaning that increasing numbers of men with cancer are and will be in work. It is therefore essential to develop interventions that support men living with cancer who are in work with self-care and self-management. These interventions can promote healthy living and enable men to self-manage cancer disease and treatment symptoms and remain within the workforce.

The guide was written by a working man with cancer, developed with a steering group including working men with cancer and read and commented on by working men with cancer. So the content is relevant and written with the patient in mind.  It also addresses the employer’s perspective, the legal position and related matters around money and general health.

Why is this important?

Well when asked, most men with or surviving cancer, still value work and want to return to work.  With longer life expectancy, rising incidence of cancer with an increased survival, more of these men will be seeking a return to the workplace. Tools to support that are essential.

 Spreading the word

The guide and video has been endorsed by a wide range of European health organisations and charities who have helps EMHF get the message out there.

EMHF have also produced a promotional video that supports the messages about going back to work.  It doesn’t use any language so can be used across Europe. Check out the guide and video at: