Talking about your breast cancer diagnosis with colleagues can be difficult, and you may wonder if and when you should have the conversation.
Sharing your diagnosis with your colleagues will allow them the opportunity to support you.
Some people prefer not to tell colleagues about their diagnosis and find this helps them retain some normality in their lives.
Others choose to tell colleagues they are closest to first and have those colleagues help them plan how to tell others.
Don’t feel pressured to discuss it if you don’t feel comfortable – only you know what works best for you and your situation.
My colleagues were 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.
If you choose to, there may be benefits of speaking about your diagnosis in the workplace.
Listen to BCNA’s podcast Work after breast cancer: Tackling the difficult conversations.
For information about discrimination because of a cancer diagnosis contact the Australian Human Rights Commission - 1300 656 419.
Visit My Journey, BCNA’s online tool for information tailored to your diagnosis.
Join our Online Network if you think that talking to others online and sharing experiences will help.
Contact BCNA’s Helpline on 1800 500 258 between 9.00 am and 5.00 pm AEST Monday to Friday, for information about the services and support that may be available for you and your family.
Did you find this content useful?
Let’s be Upfront about working after breast cancer and tackling the difficult conversations you may need to have with your employer.
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
Tips to help employers talk to an employee who has a breast cancer diagnosis
If an employee wants to share their breast cancer diagnosis with colleagues, talk to them about what they want to communicate, and when
The role of employers, supervisors and human resources teams in supporting an employee diagnosed with breast cancer
*This article does not provide medical advice and is intended for informational purposes only.
Please consult a medical professional or healthcare provider if you're seeking medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment.