Cancer and Your Workplace

Working During Cancer Treatment

Many people want to continue working while getting treated. But whether a person can or not may depend on the:

  • Type of treatments
  • Cancer’s stage
  • Individual’s overall health
  • Kind of work he or she does

One person may feel too sick or too tired to work. Another might be told to take it easy by their doctor.

Each person is different. Some are able to keep working a full-time schedule. Some people may need small accommodations. And some might need extra days off or the opportunity to work part-time for a while.

Communicating With Coworkers and Going Back to Work After Cancer

After treatment, some people are eager to get back to work. Not just for the income, but also for the sense of routine and for the good feelings they may get out of working. It’s a good idea, however, to talk to both your healthcare team and your boss before going back to work. You, your doctors, and your boss will all want to know that you’re well enough to work.

Remember that coworkers may respond differently to a colleague with cancer. Some will be supportive, while others may feel anxious or even threatened. Others simply don’t know how to say what they might want to say, or may seem awkward around them.

Check out this helpful guide from the National Cancer Institute. It contains tips on returning to work after cancer, and talking to your coworkers, as well as an overview of your rights.

This link is to a third-party website.

Caregiving and the Workplace

Caring for a seriously ill loved one can be a full-time job. But if the caregiver already has a full-time paying job, work-related issues like missed days, decreased productivity, and interruptions can occur. The stress of caring for someone on top of worrying about keeping a paying job, and tracking costs and insurance payments, can be overwhelming.