Nurse project aims to help men with cancer return to work

RCN says project announced for men’s health week will produce a manual so nursing staff can help patients stay in or return to work.
Return to work

The RCN has warned that men with cancer need more support to stay in and return to the workplace.

The manual aims to help nurses engage men in their own care and support them to return to work. Picture: iStock

A project by the RCN, the European Men’s Health Forum (EMHF) and Ulster University aims to use nursing expertise to help men with cancer stay in work or return to employment after treatment.


Improving cancer survival rates and the rising retirement age mean that increasing numbers of these men will be in work. However, the majority of employers are ill-equipped to support male workers who are living with cancer, according to the RCN.

The project, funded by the Burdett Nursing Trust and launched to coincide with men’s health week from 12-18 June, will produce a manual for nursing staff so they can help male cancer patients to return to work should they wish to.

It can also be used by nurses working with employers and managers to help them support their employees effectively.

Tailored advice

Combining wide-ranging expertise in men’s health, the manual, due to be published later this year, is specifically tailored to help nurses engage men in their own care and will be rolled out across Europe.

Research has shown that men are 16% more likely than women to develop cancer.

RCN research and innovation manager Ann McMahon, said: ‘Without the support they need from employers, men with cancer are being let down across the country – many are even forced out of work.

‘A cancer diagnosis no longer means someone must leave their job – yet this is still the assumption of many employers.’

She added: ‘Nursing staff are in a prime position to help men and their employers, and this manual will give them the tools they need to help many more men stay in employment.’

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