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Returning to Work after Cancer: 5 Things to Know

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Returning to Work after Cancer: 5 Things to Know

   September 12, 2022

   HCG Nasik Team,


Diagnosing cancer and undergoing its treatment is financially, emotionally, and physically draining. As a result, most cancer patients take long leave from the workplace. Fortunately, with the advancement of medical technology and the availability of novel drugs, and the best cancer care treatment in Nashik, most people with cancer survive and return to work. However, it is important to do appropriate planning before going back to the office.

Returning to work after cancer: Things to know.

  • Worrying about the capability of doing work: Once you decide to return to work, you may have several concerns regarding your ability to work effectively. There may be a significant change in concentration, energy, and mood that may hamper your performance. You may also be afraid about seeking help from your coworkers. Further, you may also not feel comfortable sharing your concerns with the employer. However, you are not the only person to have these challenges. Almost all cancer survivors have some or all of these issues. It is important to manage all these problems and return to work with appropriate planning.

    Decide to return when you are fit to work. Work slowly for the initial period and gradually add more hours to your work. Do not add more than the necessary workload. It will improve your confidence. Take responsibilities that are in line with your physical condition.

  • Physical adjustment to work: You should adjust physically to the work you are doing. Further, there are several benefits to resuming work after cancer. These benefits include social interaction, increased self-confidence, and avoiding negative thoughts. On the other hand, you may experience pain, fatigue, and cognitive issues.

    Several measures may allow you to manage physical limitations. You should take small breaks between work to maintain your energy throughout the day. You may take the help of your colleagues or seniors if you are struggling to find a solution. Further, you may use an alarm for important reminders, such as important meetings or tasks. In certain countries, like the United States, the limitations of cancer treatment are considered disabilities, and survivors are protected under the act. The employer is required to provide work breaks to visit the doctor, take medications, or reduce work fatigue.

  • Social adjustment to the workplace: It is also important to adjust socially at the workplace after returning from cancer. It will allow you to interact with people and seek their help if required. It is important to note that some coworkers may not respond well to your return. Probably they may have no information about why you had left work for significant days. Others may be confused about your productivity at the workplace. You may positively explain your condition to them, which will help you reconnect with them. It will also make them more comfortable with you, and they are ready to assist you whenever required.
  • Management of fatigue and pain: Fatigue due to cancer and its treatment differs from the normal fatigue experienced in other cases. It is generally unrelated to the amount of work done and, at times, hard to cope with. The pressure at work in the office also makes it further difficult. It includes working for long hours, sudden changes in a shift that alters your routine, and activities that require high energy.

    You can manage fatigue in several ways. Consult with your doctor about how to cope with cancer fatigue. If you find any difficulty searching for the best doctor, Google “best oncologists near me.” You may also ask him to refer you to a cancer rehabilitation program. You should not do too much rest at a time; rather, take small breaks or naps during the day. Certain drugs, such as for nausea, pain, and depression, may cause fatigue as a side effect. Consult with the best cancer doctors in Nashik about changing the drug or altering the dose. Your doctor may also make a diet chart for you. Perform moderate exercise, such as walking, regularly. However, do not exercise in the late evening.

    Further, sleep well for at least 7-8 hours a day. Do not hesitate to receive help from others in things you find hard to do. Limit or completely avoid caffeine intake.

    You may experience significant pain during and after cancer treatment. It is important to inform the employer and other team members about the pain you are experiencing. Take your medications on time. Request your employer to change your responsibilities to prevent the worsening of pain. Avoid doing work that causes pain or worsens the existing pain.

  • Alteration in thought process: You may also experience “cancer-related brain fog.” This condition may alter concentration, creativity, attentiveness, memory, and problem-solving skills. You may also be short of words while speaking to others. It will affect your confidence and reduce your overall productivity at work. You must build the habit of writing and using memory aids and devices. These aids will help you track your activities, sleep, and meals. You should also involve friends and family to remind you about important activities. You should also organize your day and declutter tasks that are not important.

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