It can be hard to predict how well you will recover from treatment for a brain tumour, and when and whether you will be able to return to work. This may also depend on the type of work you do.
Some people find it hard to concentrate or make decisions after treatment for a brain tumour. At least at first, it may not be safe to operate heavy machinery or take on a lot of responsibility. An occupational therapist can advise you about whether returning to work is safe or possible. They can also give your employer information about whether you could return to work with altered duties or on a part-time basis.
Talk to your employer about adjusting your duties or working part-time until you have recovered. In some cases, it won’t be possible to return to your former role. This can be hard to accept, and it may help to talk to the hospital social worker, call Cancer Council 13 11 20 or join a brain tumour support group.
I was diagnosed with a grade 4 glioblastoma that couldn’t be operated on, so I had radiation therapy and chemotherapy. I needed to stop work and I couldn’t drive. I found it all mentally draining.
Listen to our podcast on Coping With A Cancer Diagnosis
A/Prof Andrew Davidson, Neurosurgeon, Macquarie University Hospital, NSW; Dr Lucy Gately, Medical Oncologist, Oncology Clinics Victoria, and Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, VIC; Melissa Harrison, Allied Health Manager and Senior Neurological Physiotherapist, Advance Rehab Centre, NSW; Scott Jones, Consumer; Anne King, Neurology Cancer Nurse Coordinator, Health Department, WA; Dr Toni Lindsay, Senior Clinical Psychologist and Allied Health Manager, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, NSW; Elissa McVey, Consumer; Caitriona Nienaber, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council WA; Dr Claire Phillips, Deputy Director, Radiation Oncology, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC.
View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.
Click below to download a PDF booklet on this topic.
Coping with cancer?
Speak to a health professional or to someone who has been there, or find a support group or forum
Need legal and financial assistance?
Pro bono services, financial and legal assistance, and no interest loans
Work and cancer
Information for employees, employers and workplaces dealing with cancer