- Cancer Information
- Legal, work and financial issues
- Cancer, work and you
- For workers
- Managing your working life after diagnosis
Managing your working life after diagnosis
Work is an important part of many people’s lives. Whether you are able to keep working during treatment for cancer, or while caring for someone with cancer, will depend on your personal situation.
The following factors will affect your ability to work:
After weighing up all the competing factors you may decide to keep working, take a break or retire from work. If you take a break, you might return to your existing job after treatment, or you may want to change jobs or careers.
Continue workingWith support from your employer, flexible working arrangements or workplace adjustments.
Take time offYou may be able to use your paid leave entitlements, take unpaid time off, or claim on insurance.
Return to workYou may:be able to slot back into your existing job straightawayneed to ease back into a full workload, with some workplace changes and a return to work planfind a new job due to changes in your abilities or priorities. For more on this, see Going back to work after cancer treatment
Retire from workYou may decide that retirement is the best option.
Kerryann White, Manager, People and Culture, Cancer Council SA; Nicola Martin, Principal, McCabe Curwood, NSW; Jane Auchettl, Coordinator, Education and Training Programs, Cancer Council Victoria; Craig Brewer, Consumer; Alana Cochrane, Human Resources Business Partner, Greater Bank Newcastle, NSW; Shona Gates, Senior Social Worker, North West Cancer Centre, North West Regional Hospital, TAS; Dianne Head, Cancer Nurse Coordinator, Metastatic Breast Cancer, Crown Princess Mary Cancer Centre Westmead, NSW; Alex Kelly, Talent Acquisition Business Partner, Aon, NSW; Prof Bogda Koczwara AM, Senior Staff Specialist, Department of Medical Oncology, Flinders Medical Centre, SA; Sharyn McGowan, Occupational Therapist, Bendigo Health, VIC; Jeanne Potts, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council Victoria; Michelle Smerdon, Legal and Financial Support Services Manager, Cancer Council NSW. We would also like to than the health professionals, consumers and editorial teams who have worked on previous editions of this title.
View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.
The information on this page is also available for download.
Coping with cancer?
Speak to a health professional or to someone who has been there, or find a support group or forum
Looking for transport, accommodation or home help?
Practical advice and support during and after treatment