Deciding about work

The decision about whether to continue working after a diagnosis of secondary breast cancer is an individual one and depends on the woman’s health, finances and priorities. Some women with secondary breast cancer who feel well enough find that continuing to work helps them to feel valued, and they feel comforted by being around familiar people and situations.

Other women find that their diagnosis makes them want to make changes in their work life. They may to stop work and focus on other things that are important to them. Some women decide to change jobs, work part time, or do some volunteer work.

It can be helpful to talk to a counsellor or social worker when thinking about work priorities.

Talking to colleagues about breast cancer

If you do continue to work, you may find it difficult to talk with your colleagues or friends about your experience of being diagnosed with secondary breast cancer. If you want to, you can share your experience with just a few close friends or colleagues. Sharing your feelings could lead to valuable support.

The Cancer Council NSW has developed a comprehensive guide about work and cancer that includes information for employees and managers.