The news that your colleague has been diagnosed with breast cancer can come as a shock.
This information will help you understand breast cancer and the things you can do to support your colleague.
Don’t be afraid to seek support for yourself. It can be an emotional time for everyone.
It is important to know that breast cancer has a high survival rate, especially when found and treated early. The chance of surviving at least five years is 92 per cent. Of course, many people live well beyond this period.
There are a number of factors that influence the type of treatment required, and each case is different. For example, your colleague may only require surgery and return to work after a month or two, or they may require longer treatment (e.g. chemotherapy, radiotherapy) and therefore require extended time off work.
Everyone's breast cancer experience, including side effects and recovery, will be different.
My colleagues were absolutely amazing. They were genuinely interested, but respectful. They allowed me to hide in my office during the days that I felt really unwell. They asked me how I was and listened when I told them.
For further information, the following resources are available:
Let’s be Upfront about working after breast cancer and tackling the difficult conversations you may need to have with your employer.
Employers have legal responsibilities to employees with cancer. Legislation includes Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and Fair Work Act 2009
How to help a colleague with breast cancer after their diagnosis, during treatment, and beyond
Ways to support your employee after a breast cancer diagnosis, during their treatment and as they plan a return to work
When a colleague is diagnosed, find out what won't help as you try to support them
If you choose to, there may be benefits of speaking about your diagnosis in the workplace