Be the Boss Over Cancer

Deciding whether to continue working during and/or after cancer treatment is difficult. The thought of managing the stress of your job and battling cancer can feel overwhelming, but your career is important for many reasons, including your financial stability and personal identity.

To help you decide whether or not to work after your diagnosis, here are some pros and cons of working when you have cancer from this article by


  • Distraction: focusing on your tasks at work can help keep your mind off stresses or side effects of treatment.
  • Support: your workplace may be a safe place for support from colleagues. But read this article first to help you decide if, to who, and how you share the news.
  • Financial Support: working provides an income, and sometimes health insurance, to offset medical expenses.


  • Fatigue
  • Treatments: some treatments may limit your ability to perform your job
  • Cognitive impairment/chemo brain

If you've decided to continue working through treatment, here are 9 ways to help manage your stress:

  1. Negotiate a flexible schedule with your manager to accommodate appointments
  2. Talk with your manager about telecommuting
  3. Work part-time
  4. Divide large tasks into smaller ones so they are less overwhelming
  5. Select a point person to help you with communicating with your co-workers
  6. Ask your manager for help with reallocating small job functions
  7. Utilize memory aids and get organized
  8. Request reasonable accommodations to make your workplace more comfortable
  9. Schedule periodic breaks to clear your head and help you stay productive

For even more tips on relieving stress at work, take a look at this article and blog post.


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