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Cancer and Work

by Heather Dommer, ARNP Survivorship Clinic

Approximately 70% of cancer diagnoses occur for people between the ages of 20 and 74. This is the time of life most people are working some type of job. Their cancer diagnosis can be very impactful on their career. We all know cancer takes a large toll on patients both physically and emotionally, but so does the treatments received to treat the cancer. These side effects can also continue after the cancer treatment is complete and can continue to interfere with employment. Some people experience fatigue, pain, or even cognitive changes making it difficult to work.

Recently, I was made aware of a good resource to help with these concerns related to cancer and careers. The website is This is a well-organized website that gives information on all aspects of cancer and working. It starts with some general information about talking to employers about a cancer diagnosis, gives tips on organizing, how to manage side effects, and encourages the creation of an action plan. It goes on to include information regarding the law and how it applies to employees diagnosed with cancer. There is information regarding going back to work after completing cancer treatment, whether this means returning to the same job or changing jobs. This section also gives tips on job searching and interviewing. They even offer a free resume review service and access to job coaches. In addition to the general information, they also host webinars about once a month to address specific topics regarding balancing work and cancer.

If you or someone you know has questions or concerns related to any aspect of working and cancer, I encourage them to look at this website for more information. The Nassif Community Cancer Center is also here to help with work concerns related to cancer. If you would like to schedule an appointment to discuss or would like further information, please call (319) 558-4876. You can also get more information by going to our website at


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