If you are employed at the time of your breast cancer diagnosis, you will need to consider:
I took 18 months leave from work. I wanted my hair to have grown before I went back. When I did return, I reduced my working hours to better suit me and my family.
Deciding what to do with work after your breast cancer diagnosis is a personal decision – there is no right or wrong answer. Take time to evaluate your work and financial situation and what's going to be best for you. You can then choose to:
Talk to your employer about your diagnosis. Together, you can make a plan to deal with the impact your treatment may have on you and your workplace.
If you want to make changes to your working arrangement during treatment, you may be able to:
If your work includes manual tasks, talk to your medical team about whether these aspects of your job require modification.
It is important that you understand your employment entitlements and legal responsibilities and find out about financial supports that may be available to you. For example, whether you have income protection or trauma insurance.
I returned to work one day after finishing radiotherapy. Now, looking back, I wish I had taken some time off to rest and relax.
For further information, the following resources are available:
Causes of financial stress and ways to manage it.
If you are self-employed, you may need financial advice or support to continue your business during breast cancer treatment
You may want or need to take time off work for treatment. Know your rights and what you may need to think about
Cancer is considered a disability under Australian law. You cannot be treated less favourably at work because of a breast cancer diagnosis
When looking for work after breast cancer, know what an employer can ask and find tips about disclosure and interviews
When your employee is off work for breast cancer treatment, create a 'return to work' plan so you can discuss and agree the best way forward