Balancing Work

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Hi, I have just been diagnosed with non aggressive prostate cancer having had an MRI scan followed by a biopsy. I had an MRI scan because I had an enlarged prostate and my urine test detected blood in my urine.

I am currently working from home but due to chronic fatigue I do not go out and have a need to lie down for at least one hour a day. I haven’t told my employer about my diagnosis. Am I obliged to inform my employer 

My doctor has told me that my fatigue is not a symptom of my prostate cancer which makes me wonder why I had bold in my urine and why I feel so tired. I have had endless blood tests which have not suggested any illness.

Any advice kindly received.

Thank you

  • Hello

    Thank you for your question. My name is Polly and I am a work support advisor on the Macmillan support line. I advise about employment rights and how to deal with problems at work. I am so sorry to hear about your symptoms, so I have asked one of our Cancer information Nurses to respond to this aspect of your inquiry.

    That is no legal obligation to tell your employer about your health problems however if your health does impinge on your productivity or accuracy then it may be wise to tell them about it.

    This is because cancer is a recognised disability under the Equality Act 2010 (or the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 if you live in Northern Ireland)

    This means that the employer must make reasonable adjustments to help you manage your workload if you are impeded by health problems. This can include providing equipment or adaptations, changing policies and procedures, or changing the location of your job. Please have a look at the ACAS website and our booklet Your Rights at Work .

    As soon as your employer is informed of your cancer diagnosis then all the duties and obligations of this legislation are engaged. This may prompt them to refer you to occupational health who can identify the support you need to manage your health problems. If you are worried about privacy you can ask your manager to keep details about your health confidential.

    Reasonable adjustments vary widely and depend on the tasks of your job, your targets and the physical demands. If your work is desk based, then this disclosure could prompt a workstation assessment where the employer could provide ergonomic equipment and computer software to make your job easier.

    Please feel free to use the Macmillan support line services If you need further support


    Work Support Advisor
    Remember you can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm) or by email
  • Hi Jacks_h11

    My name is Ursula and I’m one of the cancer information nurses at Macmillan.

    I see your query was responded to by Polly, one of our work support advisors.

    As you mentioned ongoing fatigue I wanted to get in touch as one of the nurses to offer some additional support with this.

    Information from Prostate Cancer UK suggests around three in four people with prostate cancer (74%) will experience fatigue at some point.  They have some information which you may find useful, which includes possible reasons why you may get fatigue and the ways in which you can help manage it.

    Keeping a fatigue diary may also help you to better understand and manage your fatigue.

    Prostate Cancer UK have a fatigue support page to offer help which you may find beneficial.

    I see that you have spoken to your doctor about your fatigue.  If you have any new, increasing, or worsening symptoms it is always important to report these to your GP or hospital team. This allows them to make a full assessment and decide if you require medication or further investigations to manage these symptoms. They would want to hear from you and know if you are struggling.

    I see that you have joined our prostate cancer forum.  I really hope you have found it supportive. 

    I hope this information is helpful.

    Best wishes,


    Cancer Information Nurse Specialist 


    You can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm) or send us an email

     Ref: LM