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I am a colleague of someone with breast cancer

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. 

About breast cancer

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 90.1 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.

Useful information

For further information, the following resources are available: