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.
The main treatments for cancer are surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Other treatments such as hormonal therapy and targeted therapies may also be used for certain cancers. Often a combination of more than one type of treatment is used.
Some side effects of treatment may affect your ability to work. Others may be mild. You can find out more about how side effects may affect you by visiting the page for your type of treatment. We also have more information about coping with symptoms and side effects.
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.
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.