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Diagnosing and Treating Adult Cancers and Associated Impairments

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Cancer is the second leading cause of death among adults in the United States after heart disease. However, improvements in cancer treatment and earlier detection are leading to growing numbers of cancer survivors. As the number of cancer survivors grows, there is increased interest in how cancer and its treatments may affect a person's ability to work, whether the person has maintained employment throughout the treatment or is returning to work at a previous, current, or new place of employment. Cancer-related impairments and resulting functional limitations may or may not lead to disability as defined by the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA), however, adults surviving cancer who are unable to work because of cancer-related impairments and functional limitations may apply for disability benefits from SSA.

At the request of SSA, Diagnosing and Treating Adult Cancers and Associated Impairments provides background information on breast cancer, lung cancer, and selected other cancers to assist SSA in its review of the listing of impairments for disability assessments. This report addresses several specific topics, including determining the latest standards of care as well as new technologies for understanding disease processes, treatment modalities, and the effect of cancer on a person's health and functioning, in order to inform SSA's evaluation of disability claims for adults with cancer.


Suggested Citation

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Diagnosing and Treating Adult Cancers and Associated Impairments. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

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Publication Info

374 pages |6 x 9
  • Paperback: 978-0-309-68400-2
  • Ebook: 978-0-309-68403-3

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