Making a decision about working

A major concern when you are diagnosed with cancer may be how, and if, you can keep your business running. Many self-employed people with cancer find ways to have treatment while keeping their business on track. Depending on the nature of your business, self-employment can give you more control over your work schedule and allow you to manage the time needed for treatment or recovery.

The decisions you make will depend on your individual circumstances. The type of cancer, the proposed treatment and potential side effects are all factors to consider. If you rely on your income or if your business has been a major focus of your life, taking time off or not working permanently may be a major concern. Go to Coping with side effects for some tips that may help you make a decision.

If you are uncertain about what to do, discuss your options with family or friends. You could also seek professional financial advice.

Your options may include:

  • checking existing insurance policies for entitlements, including any benefits payable through your superannuation
  • claiming early entitlements from your superannuation fund
  • talking to Centrelink about government benefits
  • selling your business.

      − Carol

This information was last reviewed in January 2017
View who reviewed this content
View our editorial policy

Support services

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

Cancer information

What is cancer?
How cancer starts and spreads

Dealing with the diagnosis
Common reactions to a cancer diagnosis and how to find hope

View our publications
Guides and fact sheets for people with cancer, their families and friends