Working with Prostate Cancer

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My husband is really struggling with fatigue from the ongoing hormonal treatment he is on and possible affects from the radiotherapy which finished a few months ago for his Prostate Cancer. 

He is a site manager for new house building and his job is very active and just lately he seems to have aged, is a lot slower due to being constantly exhausted.  I worry that his life will be cut short and the constant struggle to be at work.  He has only had one day this week off sick since his diagnosis last year.  my concerns are that the building trade’s attitude is normally to get rid of anyone that doesn’t perform.  

Is there any support, early retirement packages due to ill health.  He doesn’t have a very good private pension as was self employed for most of his working life. He is 61 so I feel a long time to getting to state pension age,  if he actually manages to reach that age!  

I was thinking if he could reduce his hours and enjoy some quality life but get some support from somewhere that could help us to still meet mortgage and bills etc.  I know I am probably living in a dream world thinking that there would be some help available.  

Many thanks for any advice/guidance.  



  • Hi WATP (Diane )

    My name is Linda and I am a Work Support Adviser on our National Support Line. I can advise on a person’s  Rights at Work when affected by Cancer.

    I am sorry to hear that your husband is suffering from fatigue following his treatment for Prostate Cancer.

     As your husband has a cancer diagnosis he is considered to have a disability under the Equality Act 2010 or Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (Northern Ireland). This means his employer should not discriminate against him because of his cancer. His employer is also under a duty to make reasonable adjustments to help him at work. This protection is lifelong and does not depend on an active cancer diagnosis.


    Reasonable adjustments remove or minimise disadvantages experienced by disabled people. Employers must make reasonable adjustments to ensure disabled people are not disadvantaged in the workplace. They should also make sure policies and practices do not put disabled people at a disadvantage. An example of a reasonable adjustment could be amended duties or lighter duties, reduced working hours or more regular rest breaks to help combat the fatigue.

    Your husband can ask his Employer for a referral to Occupational Health for a medical assessment. They would be able to produce a medical report and make recommendations for reasonable adjustments to be put in place to support him.

    He can request a reasonable adjustment in the workplace, providing he can relate it back to his cancer. His employer has a duty to consider all reasonable adjustments and a failure to do so could suggest disability discrimination. If his employer rejects a reasonable adjustment request they need to be able to demonstrate why it is “unreasonable” for them to accommodate or it could suggest that he is being treated less favourably as a disabled person. That


    In order to be protected from direct discrimination or to ask for reasonable adjustments at work your employer should be aware of your cancer diagnosis.


    I have included a link to our booklet Your Rights At Work which explains these right in greater detail. 



    We have a team of Financial Guides here at Macmillan Cancer Support who can provide guidance on all aspects of personal finance including Pensions and Mortgages. I think it would be helpful to get in touch with them. They are available on our Support Line number 0808 808 0000 ( option 1, option 2, option 1 ) Monday – Friday 8am -6pm. You can also contact them on this link also Financial Guidance | Macmillan Cancer Support

    If you have any financial worries it may be useful to have a full Benefit Check ( if not already done so) to check if there any foms of financial support you may be eligible for under the circumstances. Our Welfare Rights Team could complete an accurate financial assessment for you. They are also available on 0808 808 0000 ( option 1, option 2, option 2 ) Monday – Friday 8am -8pm and Saturday and Sunday 9am – 5pm . There is further information in this link Welfare rights advice | Macmillan Cancer Support

    I hope this information has been helpful to address your concerns. However, if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to get back in touch.

    Kind Regards



    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

  • Thank you so much Linda I will definitely get him to speak to his employer.  I will also check the links out.  I really appreciate your help and quick response.