When To Get Back To Work After Cancer Treatment?

Getting cancer treatment is not enough. It is necessary that your doctor counsel and prepare you for what’s to come.

Patients struggle to get back to normal life post-cancer treatment For some of the patients, working is very important, some of them would like to quit or some of them would just continue. Initiating a conversation with the patients related to their roles and responsibilities in life provides an insight about the background of that particular patient.

The most common question as doctor, I face during cancer treatment counselling is:

When and will I be able to get back to work after the cancer treatment?

Answering this question is a bit difficult because working after cancer treatment firstly depends on the workplace and obligations they have. Also, there is no such restriction that you cannot get back to work after your treatment. It’s just that you will have to take extra care and planning.

The idea of returning back to work definitely needs an approval from your doctor. The timing for getting back to work depends on:

• The side effects of the treatment on a long- term basis.
• Stress and physical demand of the job.
• The schedule for follow-up care.

Returning back to work also depends on your physical as well as mental state.

If your idea of getting back to work gets approved by your doctor then it is important to discuss about the work schedule with your supervisor at the workplace. You can refer to the workplace rights, so as to have a creative work schedule which will help you transition easily back to work.

These creative work schedules shall include-
• Part-time hours of job
• Unpaid medical leaves
• Sharing of job on projects until working full-time is possible for you.
• Flexible work-timings so as to manage all the medical appointments.

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You can follow these tips so that you can easily get back to your normal life at your workplace:

Discuss about your cancer treatment with your co-workers:

Sharing about your cancer journey with your co-workers is completely your decision. If you are comfortable enough with them then you can definitely share it. The idea of sharing your experience will make them understand and will lead them to offer you help in all the possible ways.

• Adjust physically to work:

Returning to work will have various advantages for your health and body. It will boost your self-confidence and will provide you opportunities to interact with your colleagues. But physically you might face various challenges like pain, fatigue, risk of infections ,cognitive problems and other side effects as well. In order to cope up with these challenges you can follow these tips:

➢ Small breaks can be taken so as to remain energetic throughout the day.
➢ Discussing the issues and concerns with the manager.
➢ Take breaks for medications, doctor appointments and to reduce fatigue.

Going back to work after cancer treatment is definitely not easy. But it can be made easy if proper planning and positive mindset is adopted. Most importantly, do not forget to consult your doctor before getting back to work. This information might help you in taking the right decision and if you still have any doubts related to cancer then you can reach out to us, Dr. Ajay and Lahari Chanakya on Instagram.

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