European Cancer Meeting of the french National Cancer Institute, February 3 & 4, 2022

On the occasion of the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the first European Meeting of the French National Cancer Institute has been held on 3 and 4 February 2022.

One year after the launch of France’s ten-year cancer-control strategy and the European Beating Cancer Plan, and on the occasion of World Cancer Day, this Conference seeks to step up cooperation and enhance synergy to help Europe advance in this fight, for the benefit of citizens from the 27 Member States.

This event allowed the main European institutional actors and experts to share their views and make proposals around 5 major themes:

  • Childhood cancers;
  • Cancers with poor prognosis;
  • Cancer prevention;
  • Cancer and Employment;
  • International cooperation in the fight against cancer.

Each of these five themes was discussed in a workshop attended by all the players involved (researchers, doctors, patient associations, public and private players, etc.), and the results were presented throughout the morning of 4 February.

European Cancer Meetings 2022 : The “Cancer and Employment” workshop

Every day in France, 1,000 people, including 400 in employment, are diagnosed with cancer. While at first glance these figures may seem pessimistic, they are in fact a reflection of earlier diagnosis and more effective and less invasive treatments. For the past 25 years, the cancer mortality rate has been steadily decreasing.

While cancer has an impact on personal life, it affects professional life no less. Five years after a cancer diagnosis, 63.5% of people suffer from after-effects due to the cancer or the treatments (fatigue, anxiety and depressive disorders, etc.), which can have an impact on their work. The return to work is an important and recognised factor in the management of people with cancer. It influences quality of life, financial security and the maintenance of a stable social environment. Supporting people to return to and stay in work is essential, whether for employees, managers or staff.

For the past 5 years, the SIRIC ILIAD has been involved in the subject of maintaining and returning to work after cancer via its ReWork-QoL research programme, co-directed by Yves Roquelaure and Florence Molinié. It is in this context that Professor Yves Roquelaure was asked, along with other experts, to take part in this “Cancer & Employment” workshop during the European Cancer Meetings 2022 and to recommend actions to address the identified difficulties (see all the participants here – page 56):

  • Christine LE CLAINCHE, University of Lille, Director of the Health Economics Master
  • Angelique DE RIJK, Maastrichts University, Social Medicine, Professor in Work and Health
  • Jean-Baptiste FASSIER, Lyon University hospital, Head of Occupational Medicine Unit
  • Yves ROQUELAURE, University of Angers & Angers hospital, Head of the Occupational Health and Ergonomics Epidemiology Team
  • Hélène BONNET, Sanofi – France, Cofunder “Cancer & Travail : Agir ensemble »

Professor Angelique DE RIJK presented the results of the “Cancer and Employment” workshop at the European Cancer Meeting 2022

We share a common history in social security and employment assistance, we share a vision. France, historically, is in a good position to lead a common European action on cancer and employment issues.

Rencontres Européennes 2022 Cancer & Emploi
Photo par Yves Roquelaure

Restitution of the 3 actions recommended by the working group:

  • Axis 1. Develop the legal framework in favour of job retention and return-to-work policies

Returning to work after cancer is a common issue in all European countries. It is important that Europe guides companies, sets a standard to follow.

  • Axis 2. Provide tools for stakeholders to promote and support the employment of people with cancer in a life-long approach

Job retention needs better structures, better tools for all actors. Each country, individually, does a lot, but we need to share our examples better.

  • Axis 3. Accelerate research in the field of cancer & employment, right to be forgotten

There is an urgent need to develop research on the return to work of people with cancer, through a European research programme.

Read the political declaration here

Watch or rewatch the event on the INCa Youtube channel:

Thursday 3 February :

Friday 4 February :

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