Will I be able to work during treatment?

Every person is different – some people may be able to work, while others may not. It will depend on various factors including the type of treatment you will be getting and the type of work you do.

You won’t know how you will feel until you have started your treatment. You may want to speak with your doctor and ask what his or her expectations are regarding your course of treatment, how long you might be off work, and what limitations you may encounter in doing your job.

Do I need to tell my employer or colleagues about my diagnosis?

You are not required by law to tell your employer about your diagnosis. If you will be asking for a medical leave or for accommodations to be made at work for you, you would be required to share information with your employer about your health.

Before you share your news with colleagues, decide how you will address the matter with your boss. Only share your diagnosis with those at work who you feel comfortable telling and let them know if you want it kept confidential. Only share the amount of detail that you feel comfortable sharing.

What if I find the work difficult during or after treatment? What can I do to make it easier?

It’s important to understand and set your limits. You can discuss these limits with your employer and co-workers to see if accommodations can be made. You may be able to adjust your work schedule or reduce your workload. Being honest with the people at work and explaining your situation to them is the best way to help ensure that they understand and are supportive of your needs.

If I take time off from work, will I be able to get financial assistance?

There may be different options for financial assistance available to you. Our Breast Cancer Support & Information Team can help you find out about about possible income replacement from insurance, federal government support, provincial government aid programs and registered charities. Contact us at 1-888-778-8100.

Links to more information

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Cancer & Careers

Breast Cancer and Your Job

Work and Finances
Canadian Cancer Society

Work and Cancer
Macmillan Cancer Support

Tackling Work after a Cancer Diagnosis