After Diagnosis: A Guide for Patients and Families

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Will I be able to work during treatment?

The answer to this question depends on the type of treatment you get, the type of cancer, your overall health, and the kind of work you do. How much work you can do and whether you need to limit how much you do both depend on how you feel during treatment. Some people with cancer are able to go to work and go on with much of their normal everyday activities while getting treatment. Others find that they need more rest than usual and can’t do as much. Your doctor may suggest that you limit some of your activities.

You may be able to schedule your treatments late in the day or right before the weekend so that they affect your work as little as possible. If your treatment makes you very tired, you might have to change your work schedule for a while. You may be able to agree on a part-time schedule, or maybe you can do some of your work at home. Under federal and state laws, some employers may be required to allow you to work a flexible schedule to meet your treatment needs. They might also have to help you in other ways if you can still do the main duties of your job. Call us for more on this or see the section on called “Working During and After Treatment.”

Last Medical Review: 02/20/2015
Last Revised: 02/20/2015