The Who, What, Where, When and Sometimes, Why.

Working During Treatment

Many people who are working at the time of their breast cancer diagnosis continue to work during treatment or return to work soon after treatment ends [212-215].

Your health care provider can help you decide when (and if) you’re able to work (part-time or full-time).

Going back to work after breast cancer treatment can improve your quality of life, including your emotional and social well-being [216-217].

However, staying at your job during treatment or returning to work after treatment ends can be hard, both physically and mentally [212-215]. Talk with your health care provider about ways to make things as easy as possible.

Learn about insurance (including disability insurance) and other financial issues.

Making adjustments to your job

You may need to adjust some aspects of your job, especially during treatment and for the first months after treatment ends.

Your employer may help you find ways to balance your job with any limits you may have.


American Cancer Society
Provides a list of things that are reasonable to ask for to help you better manage your time and work, tips on talking with your supervisors and co-workers, and other helpful information.

Cancer and Careers
Provides information on working during treatment and tips on going back to work after breast cancer treatment.

Family and Medical Leave Act
Find information on this federal law that allows eligible employees who have certain medical conditions to take unpaid, job-protected leave while maintaining group health insurance coverage.

Job Accommodation Network
Provides free, expert and confidential help on job accommodations and disability employment issues.

Triage Cancer
Provides education on the legal and practical issues that may impact individuals diagnosed with cancer and their caregivers. They offer educational events and resources as well as a legal and financial navigation program.

Learn about disability insurance, including Social Security Disability Insurance.

Learn about maintaining health insurance coverage during a job change or job loss.

Find a list of online resources for health care and insurance assistance.

Find a list of online resources for legal assistance with employment and other issues.

Susan G. Komen® Support Resources

  • Do you need help? We’re here for you. The Komen Patient Care Center is your trusted, go-to source for timely, accurate breast health and breast cancer information, services and resources. Our navigators offer free, personalized support to patients, caregivers and family members, including education, emotional support, financial assistance, help accessing care and more. Get connected to a Komen navigator by contacting the Breast Care Helpline at 1-877-465-6636 or email to get started. All calls are answered Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m to 7 p.m. ET and Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET. Se habla español.
  • The Komen Breast Cancer and Komen Metastatic (Stage IV) Breast Cancer Facebook groups are places where those with breast cancer and their family and friends can talk with others for friendship and support.
  • Our fact sheets, booklets and other education materials offer additional information.

 Updated 12/28/23


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