Balancing Work with Treatment a Possibility for Cancer Patients

Woman walking a tight rope int he woods

Often a diagnosis like cancer leads people to quit their jobs to focus on their health. But sometimes, cancer handled more like a chronic illness.

According to an article in U.S. News & World Report, there are more than 13 million cancer survivors in the United States. Some deal with lingering medical issues. And while the health care system is working to handle these needs, employers need to be aware of this shift, too.

Years ago, most people facing cancer sought disability leave. Now, many would rather work during their treatment, if possible, the report states.

According to the report: Data from nearly 400 metastatic breast cancer survivors collected for the Cancer Support Community shows that – out of​ about 7,500 people affected by cancer – 50 percent of those who left their jobs after their cancer diagnosis did so involuntarily.

“Even among those who continued to work, 12 percent experienced ‘involuntary changes to their work schedules,’ like a reduction in work hours, and about 20 percent reported some kind of job discrimination,” the report states.

Cancer patients and survivors often deal with stigmas, such as the perception that they are weak or unreliable. Many cancer survivors don’t realize they do not have to disclose their condition to their employers, according to the report.

At Wenzel Fenton Cabassa, P.A., our labor law attorneys have experience in fighting for employees who are entitled to protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects cancer patients and survivors – among others – against workplace discrimination. And it requires employers to provide “reasonable accommodations” for the employees, whether that is an altered schedule or task.

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