Launched today at an event to coincide with the start of Men’s Health Week, a new project by the RCN, the European Men’s Health Forum (EMHF) and Ulster University aims to harness nursing expertise to help men with cancer to stay in or return to work after treatment.
The project 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 during this time.
Combining wide-ranging expertise in men’s health, the manual has been specifically tailored to help nurses engage men in their own care and will be rolled out across Europe.
The final resource will be published later in 2017.
Dr Ann McMahon, RCN Research and Innovation Manager, 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.
“There are more men with cancer in the workplace than ever before, and organisations need to be able to provide the care and support they need.
“Nursing staff are in 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.”
In recent years, research has shown that men are 16% more likely to develop cancer than women.
Returning to work is a key priority for male cancer patients, for whom jobs are a pivotal part of their social lives and provide the opportunity to support their families.