Be the Boss Over Cancer

Below are descriptions of the sessions offered at the 2015 National Conference on Work & Cancer, held Friday, June 12.

The Healthcare Professional’s Perspective 

What is the role of your healthcare team in your ability to work? How do you manage treatment side effects while working? What are some work-friendly treatment options? We will answer all of these questions and more in this session.     

Work & Cancer: Practical and Legal Issues 

This session will cover what you need to know about deciding whether to work, making decisions about disclosure, thinking through your online reputation, and working during and after treatment. We will discuss relevant laws — such as the Americans with Disabilities Act — that may protect you, as well as practical tips for dealing with work and cancer.

Managing Your Finances

Cancer is expensive. This presentation will cover tips for improving your financial health after a cancer diagnosis and treatment, including steps to take to rebuild your credit, how to deal with medical bills, options for financial assistance, and things to think about before considering filing for bankruptcy.


Looking for a new position during or after cancer treatment can seem daunting, but it can be done. Get tips on creating a compelling resume, networking, interviewing effectively (including how to deal with those resume-gap questions) and more.

Balancing Self-Employment & Cancer

This session will identify and explore the unique work-related challenges faced by self-employed and contract employees who are working during and after cancer treatment. Among the topics: creating a realistic work schedule and what to think about when deciding whether to disclose a diagnosis to clients.

Health Insurance Options

Health insurance is an important piece of the employment conversation. This session will provide attendees with information about existing health insurance options as well as the changes in healthcare brought about by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), including new consumer protections and health insurance options, and how these changes might affect cancer patients. We will also discuss where states are with regard to implementing various provisions of the ACA and potential areas where advocates can weigh in with decision-makers in their states.

Career Change

Has your cancer experience caused you to dream about a completely new career? Learn about the process for changing careers, including assessing yourself, identifying obstacles and opportunities, creating an action plan, and more.

Taking Time Off

Taking time away from work during or after treatment can come with many unexpected — and often confusing —decisions to make. This session will arm you with important information on the Family and Medical Leave Act, short- and long-term disability insurance options, and how patients and healthcare professionals can work together to correctly complete medical certification forms.

Flexible Work: What It Is, How to Get It & How to Make It Work for You

Industry experts will discuss the emerging area of flexible work, exploring it as an option for people navigating work and cancer. Also covered: best practices for creating a successful flexible work arrangement and how to request a telecommuting or flexible work setup at an existing job.

Cancer, Privacy & Your Online Footprint

This panel discussion will explore practical and legal considerations for cancer patients when sharing their cancer story online through articles, blogs, social media and more. Experts will examine the issue of privacy and the potential ramifications of online disclosure. Also covered: effective strategies patients can use to manage their online reputation, and ways to thoughtfully present themselves and their stories in the digital space.