Returning to work

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I have stage 4 CRC and I'm having maintenance chemo every 2 weeks.

I had a break over the summer holidays and felt pretty good so went back to work on a gradual reduced hours basis.

My chemo started again soon after and I have had a 6 week break because I was feeling so tired.

The chemo makes me feel very tired and there are obviously the ongoing appointments etc .. that work has to fit around. 

My employer has been very understanding and supportive. It's an office job and not too stressful.

But is it usual going back to work whilst having maintenance chemo?

Many thanks Mac

  • Hello  ,


    Thank you for your question. My name is Polly, and I am a work support advisor on the Macmillan support line.

    It is good to hear that your employer is supportive.

    It is difficult to say what is usual about cancer treatment and its effects because all cancer patients experience the condition differently.  Many patients who are going through cancer treatment can work because the employer is supportive and are prepared to make reasonable adjustments to help cancer patients manage their role.

    This is because cancer is automatically classed as a disability under the Equality Act 2010 or the Disability Discrimination act 1995 (if you live in Northern Ireland). Please see our booklet Your Rights at Work

    This can mean the following:

    1. If you suffer a disadvantage related to a policy or procedure in the workplace, then the employer will have to help you overcome this disadvantage by making changes. This can include changing targets or modifying the sickness absence policy. Have a look at the ACAS guidance on classing sickness absence as disability leave and managing medical appointments.
    2. Providing you with aids and adaptations to help you do your job. For example, computer software or telephone headsets.
    3. Helping the employee overcome physical features of the workplace that hamper them for example home working or a ground floor office space.

    There is nothing to stop a cancer patient from working unless the GP or health team consider that it is unsafe for you to work. it is important to follow medical advice.

    If you need a support please feel able to reach out on the Macmillan support line.


    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