PURPOSE: To investigate if testicular cancer survivors (TCSs) have a higher incidence of work loss compared with the population, accounting for stage, treatment and relapse.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: A cohort of 2146 Swedish TCSs diagnosed 1995-2007 (seminoma n = 926, non-seminoma n = 1220) was identified in the SWENOTECA (Swedish-Norwegian Testicular Cancer Group) register, and matched 1:4 to population comparators. Prospectively recorded work loss data (both before and after diagnosis) were obtained from national registers through September 2013. Adjusted relative risks (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) of sick leave and/or disability pension were calculated annually and overall with Poisson- and Cox regression, censoring at relapse. The mean number of annual work days lost was also estimated.
RESULTS: TCSs were at a modestly increased annual risk of work loss up to the third year of follow-up (RR3rd year 1.25, 95% CI 1.08, 1.43), attributed to a more pronounced risk among extensively treated patients (4 chemotherapy courses: RR3rd year 1.60, 95% CI 1.19, 2.15; > 4 courses: RR3rd year 3.70, 95% CI 2.25, 6.11). Patients on surveillance or limited treatment (radiotherapy, 1-3 chemotherapy courses) did not have an increased risk of work loss beyond the first year. TCSs receiving > 4 chemotherapy courses had higher mean number of annual days of work loss up to the 10th year post-diagnosis, and a five-fold risk of disability pension (RR 5.16, 95% CI 2.00, 10.3).
CONCLUSION: Extensively treated TCSs, but not those on surveillance or limited treatment, are at increased risk of work loss long-term, not explained by relapse. These patients may benefit from early rehabilitation initiatives.
2015. Vol. 54, no 10, 1770-1780 p.