Making decisions about work
It may be difficult to decide whether or not to work during your treatment. It depends very much on your individual circumstances.
Some people choose to carry on working, either full-time or part-time, during their treatment. Some people need to carry on working as much as possible for financial reasons.
You may also find that working during your treatment gives you satisfaction and helps you focus on something other than the cancer. It depends on the type of work you do, and whether you have anyone else who can help out for a while. It also depends on your health, the type of cancer you have and what kind of treatment you choose.
It’s impossible to predict how you’ll react to treatment until you start. This uncertainty makes it hard to look ahead and decide how much work to take on. It will help to let your employer know this, so that they’re aware that you may need to change your work plans at short notice.
Questions to ask yourself
Will I need to cut back on my workload temporarily?
Will I need to work in a different way, to allow time for rest as well as my treatment?
Who will be able to help me in practical ways?
Will I need extra financial help to get me and my family through this period and, if so, where can I get it?
Will it be safe for me and for others if I carry on working during treatment?
It may help to talk through these questions with your employer. Then you can plan the best course of action for you.
If you’re self-employed
Worries about money and work are very common for people who’ve been diagnosed with cancer. These questions can be difficult for anyone, but may seem especially tough if you’re self-employed.
We have more information on our website about self-employment and cancer.