Work Outcomes and Medical Costs Among Singaporean Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Survivors

Chia Jie Tan, Kim Yoke Jennifer Ng, Wei Lin Goh, Eileen Poon, Raymond Javan Chan, Lita Chew, Mohamad Farid, Alexandre Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To quantify and evaluate trends of work outcomes and medical costs among Singaporean adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer survivors. 

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted at the National Cancer Centre Singapore between July 2016 and October 2018. Cancer patients who were diagnosed between the age of 15 and 39 years and had completed treatment were eligible. Siblings of cancer patients were recruited as controls. Work outcomes were collected using an investigator-designed questionnaire, while cost data were extracted from the hospital database. Descriptive statistics were used to quantify work and cost outcomes. Mixed-effects logistic regression was used to compare employment rates between survivors and controls. Generalized linear models were used to characterize trends between medical costs and symptom burden. 

Results: A total of 29 cancer survivors and 23 sibling controls were analyzed. Approximately 80% of survivors and controls were employed at the time of survey; however, more than half of the employed survivors reported impaired work outcomes due to effects from cancer and cancer treatment, including work reallocation, absenteeism, and decreased work ability. Median productivity loss due to absenteeism in the past 3 months was estimated to be U.S. dollar (USD) 110. Total medical cost incurred within the first year after treatment completion remained high at a median of USD6592, with out-of-pocket expenditure between 17.2% and 100.0%. 

Conclusion: Despite their young age and having completed cancer treatment, Singaporean AYA cancer survivors may continue to experience poor work outcomes even after resuming work. High medical costs may also persist.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)416-424
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023


  • adolescent
  • cancer survivorship
  • medical costs
  • work
  • young adult


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