Understanding cancer

Cancer is not a single disease with a single cause (find out more about identifying causes and risk factors) or a single type of Treatment.

There are more than 200 different types of cancer, each with its own name and treatment.

The effect a cancer diagnosis and treatment will have on a person and their ability to work will vary widely.

These days, many people are cured of cancer or are able to live with it for many years. Some people may have short or long-term side effects from the cancer or its treatment. So they may need support after their treatment ends.

Many people tell us that work can help to restore a sense of ‘normality’ after a cancer diagnosis.

Try to find out a little about the type of cancer your employee or the person they are caring for has and what the effects of treatment are likely to be.

Each cancer experience is different, but having a little knowledge can help you as an employer to better understand what that person is going through and how best to support them.

To learn more you can watch our video about cancer. Dr Gregg Wilson talks about how cancer arises, the different types of cancer and the different treatments for cancer.

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Talking about cancer

Be open and honest when talking to a colleague or employee who has been diagnosed with cancer.