More than twice as many people who have battled breast cancer are returning to work after short term disability leave, according to new data from Unum.

In 2009, nearly 64 percent of people on short term disability leave due to breast cancer returned to work, a number that has climbed steadily from 28.8 percent in 2001. The encouraging increase likely signals improved treatments and outcomes for many people fighting breast cancer, says Cheryl Greaney, vice president of medical operations for Unum.

"The people behind these numbers are facing some of the most difficult times in their lives, and the ability to return to work offers a sense of normalcy and routine that can be truly beneficial," she says.

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