Be the Boss Over Cancer

It can be spookier than a ghastly ghost. Scarier than a vampire-werewolf. More chilling than that one scene (or rather, every scene) in “The Exorcist”…

(insert dun, dunn, dunnn music here)

It’s the first conversation with your employer disclosing your cancer diagnosis.

But fear not, Cancer Career has developed a comprehensive kit for you and your boss to turn your fright into might.

The Manager’s Kit has been created to help patients approach the topic of cancer and their work with their supervisors.  The Kit is written to the manager, in the hopes that coming from a credible third-party source like Cancer and Careers will make some of the more challenging things to talk about easier. 

We've laid out the "need-to-know" laws that relate to cancer in the workplace, successful workplace strategies and tips for working with your HR department.

Below are the various sections of The Manager’s Kit. You can easily download and print the complete Kit online for free, or a single section at a time.

Here is a sneak peak to the various sections of The Manager’s Kit:

  • How to Use This Kit
    • A short introduction to the Manager's Kit and ideas for approaching your boss and disclosing your diagnosis.
  • "Dear Supervisor"
    • A letter to your employer from Cancer and Careers, the leading credible resource on work and cancer. Give it to your boss to begin the conversation on balancing cancer treatment and recovery with work.
  • What to Expect when Your Employee has Cancer
    • The best antidote to confusion and hesitation is education. Learning how to manage an employee with cancer starts with having a clear understanding of what cancer is and having a list of reliable resources at your disposable when new questions arise.
  • "Need-to-Know" Laws
    • There are a number of federal laws that relate to cancer patient rights, discrimination and benefits. It's important to remember that these laws are for protection of both the employer and employee. Learn more about the ADA and FMLA.
  • Privacy Laws
    • Learn more about HIPAA and The Genetic Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), and how these laws apply to  privacy in the workplace.
  • Work Strategies
    • After the conversation between employer and employee has begun, the next step is to come up with a plan. This plan should be written and agreed upon by both the manager and employer, ensuring that everyone has the same expectations. This document suggests ideas on different strategies and solutions.
  • Creating a Flexible Work Plan
    • There are many ways for people to work through cancer treatment. This section offers various ideas for creating an accommodating work schedule. Keep in mind, the best strategy is often a creative mix, that adapts to the needs of both employee and employer as treatment progresses.
  • Working with Human Resources
    • A Human Resource department should be looked on-and called upon- as a valuable resource. They can help to navigate insurance and employee benefits, and give perspective on company precedent on accommodating employees with cancer.

Visit to learn more or download the Kit.

1 Comment

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  • Roseann D.

    Roseann D. on Nov 2, 2011

    Melissa authors the absolute BEST blogs - always eye-catching and extremely interesting, well-written and accurate reading !

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