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Breast cancer is hard. Let’s not make returning to work even harder

Despite an increasing number of Australians surviving breast cancer, an estimated 40 per cent will not return to work.

Difficulty returning to work can be for many reasons, including side effects such as ongoing fatigue, pain, cognitive deficits, lymphoedema, anxiety and depression, which can affect a person’s capacity to undertake the tasks or work the hours they did prior to being diagnosed.

Belinda was diagnosed with breast cancer at 48.

When I was diagnosed, I was working for a swimwear company as a contractor. My treatment plan included six months of chemotherapy. It was when my hair started to fall out and I looked sick that my employment contract was cancelled out of the blue.

Belinda had worked in the fashion industry for her entire life. She was an expert at what she did and working in a job that was a critical part of the business.

Breast Cancer Network Australia’s (BCNA) return to work project is focusing on education and supporting both employers and employees. The program will help those diagnosed to stay in work if they choose or return to work when they feel they are ready.

We are hoping to raise $170,000 to fund the return to work program and be there to help women and men diagnosed when they need us most.

Please make a generous tax-deductible donation to BCNA to help ensure all Australians are supported through their breast cancer experience.

How your donation can help:

$20,000 – Can help us to produce online videos and written resources for women affected by breast cancer

$50,000 – Will allow us to engage with specialist legal practitioners to advise to those returning to work

$100,000 – Can allow us to offer a telephone service for both employers and employees