As the definitive national authority on work and cancer, Cancer and Careers empowers and educates people with cancer to thrive in the workplace. Our innovative programs for survivors and healthcare professionals provide the vital support, tools, and information they need to navigate the practical and legal challenges that follow a diagnosis. Online, in print and in person, Cancer and Careers helps 400,000 individuals each year, across all 50 states.
individuals access expert information, support and resources online, in print and in person annually.
publications were distributed in English & in Spanish in 2018.
of 2018 program participants said they can use what they learned in their day-to-day activities.
of surveyed healthcare pros are initiating conversations with patients about the impact of cancer on work more frequently than they did before attending the 2017 Educational Series.
job-hunting survivors have had their resumes reviewed free of charge since 2013.
in travel grants have brought 268 scholarship recipients from all 50 states (plus the District of Columbia) to the National Conference since 2012.
Stories & Testimonials
The information I’ve learned from [CAC’s Living and Working with Cancer Workbook ] has helped me with all my life communications since my neurosurgery has left me with deficits. I now have the courage to speak up and ask for what I need to accomplish a task and to my amazement, my supervisor has willingly listened to me and allowed for procedural changes so I can do the job in the way I need to with my ‘new normal.’”
— Brain Tumor Survivor
Before my breast cancer diagnosis in 2015, I was working full-time as a Speech Language Pathologist. I was healthy, full of energy and considered my job central to my identity and life. When I was diagnosed with cancer, all of that changed. I thought I might be able to keep working through treatment, but because my immune system was comprised, my oncologist said my job (home visits with children who have communication disorders) was too high-risk. I was forced to go on work leave for a year, which was crushing for me. Prior to my diagnosis, I felt like I was getting to the top of my professional and financial game, so taking a step back was extremely difficult.
I initially heard about Cancer and Careers’ Micro-Grant program from a nurse at my infusion clinic. Although I had returned to my job at this point, my family was still struggling financially because of my year away from work. To maintain my state license and certification as a Speech Pathologist, I’m required to take continuing education courses, which are expensive. In 2017, we weren’t able to afford the course I needed to take to keep my position. This was a hard reality, but I needed assistance to pay for a course that allowed me to not only continue to do private therapy lessons, but also keep my job.
Applying for the micro-grant and being chosen as one of the recipients was the help I needed. Without it, I probably would have lost my license, certification and, ultimately, my job. A bonus was the course also taught a specific speech technique that made me more marketable and able to obtain more private clients. It’s so reassuring to know there’s an organization that helps patients and survivors get back on their feet after cancer. There’s enough stress trying to get back into the workforce after a cancer diagnosis, so finding a program that can help you get a job (or keep a job) is invaluable.”
— Cassandra P., Cancer Survivor and 2017 Professional Development Micro-Grant Recipient
I was overwhelmed by the support and information offered [at the National Conference on Work & Cancer]. I cannot thank you enough. I told my husband when I got home, ‘Now I don’t feel like such a freak.’ I know that sounds harsh, but when you are alone dealing with this, people really cannot relate. Every group that I ever tried to attend was so negative and depressing I just couldn’t continue. I found this forum to be so uplifting and supportive.”
— Cancer Survivor and National Conference Attendee
I’m really excited that there is a program addressing the professional needs of cancer patients. The impact on my identity from treatment has been ridiculous. I am an overachieving, self-motivated, efficient and personable attorney. And all of a sudden, I *WAS* that person, and no longer am. And I’m trying to figure out who I am now and what I can do and how, and to have an organization acknowledge that this is a real thing — it means a lot.”
— Cancer Survivor and 2017 Professional Development Micro-Grant Recipient
At the time of my skin cancer diagnosis, I was working part-time as a paralegal while simultaneously looking for a full-time job and being my mother’s caregiver. It would be an understatement to say I had a lot on my plate before the diagnosis. After cancer, I was completely overwhelmed. Since my diagnosis 10 years ago, I’ve not only battled innumerable health issues but also fought to get my professional life on track. Although navigating work and cancer is an ongoing challenge, CAC has made the path less daunting.
Discovering Cancer and Careers changed my life. When I attended their National Conference, it was the first time I was surrounded with other cancer survivors — I felt completely understood and supported. It was wonderful to get perspective on what others were experiencing and see my reflection in their experiences — to know I wasn’t alone. Attending the conference sessions and hearing experts speak about navigating your professional life after a cancer diagnosis provided a lot of food for thought.
After the National Conference, I attended CAC’s Job-Search Intensive. I spent a day with survivors who were eager to discuss obstacles, figure out effective job-search tools and learn some key strategies from the CAC team. I think all the attendees left at the end of the day with renewed hope, inspired by what we learned and exchanged during that program.
Over the past few years, Cancer and Careers staff has been an ongoing support system for me. Whether it’s been a phone call to go over interview tactics or an encouraging email, they have boosted my confidence as I tackle job-related challenges. I’ve also been able to refer others to CAC and pass along critical info I’ve learned over the years. To be in a position to “pay it forward” means I have made progress since I started this journey…and that is an amazing feeling.
Because of the help you provided, I was able to be better prepared for certain questions [asked during an interview]. The Swivel technique was certainly used. I used the one-page cheat sheet and other resources from the website [to prepare for the interview]. All in all, I felt very confident going in and I feel even more coming out of it. Fingers crossed it will move forward. Thanks so much…for providing all the help that you do.”
— Cancer Survivor and Cancerandcareers.org User
Cancer happened at the beginning of my professional life. I graduated from college in August 2008 and was diagnosed with malignant neoplasm of long bones of the lower extremity in October of that year. I went from an early graduate honor student with several prospective opportunities to taking any job that would hire me. My professional options were limited because of my diagnosis and I felt really stuck. Between having to settle for a low-paying job, student loan payments and medical bills, cancer created the perfect storm of missed opportunity and financial strain by the time I was 21. My financial struggles prohibited me from going to graduate school, taking additional courses and obtaining certifications that would increase my career prospects. It was hard to see my peers making professional strides while feeling like I had no forward momentum.
Being selected as a Cancer and Careers micro-grant recipient changed that. I needed to obtain my Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification to be considered for more HR leadership roles, but having so many financial constraints made that difficult. With CAC’s support, I was able to get my SPHR certification and jump-start my career. The certification helped secure my current position, a job I love. 2017 was a really tough year for me, so the micro-grant — and the pride and confidence that I gained from being selected, as well as the door I was able to open for myself with this small push — was definitely a highlight.
The impact of cancer on one’s professional goals is often profound, but that’s not always obvious to someone who hasn’t gone down that path, because the illness takes center stage. I’m so glad there is an organization like CAC that embraces the whole person and not just the illness. There’s no magic pill that keeps the other aspect of our lives in tact and this program recognizes that. If you’re fighting cancer and feel like you haven’t seen a silver lining, the micro-grant could be it.
— Tristian T., Cancer Survivor and 2017 Professional Development Micro-Grant Recipient
Without the help of Cancer and Careers, I would not feel comfortable researching another career at this particular time of my life. They allow you to be a survivor and fight for what you want with a lot of resources available that you never would have had access to. I am truly grateful for their support.”
— Cancer Survivor and Resume Review Service Client
More than 70% of cancer diagnoses are made in adults between the ages of 20 and 74 i.e. “prime employment years.”Understand the Issue