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Breast Cancer in the Workplace

by MLN Staff
Mindful Living Network, Mindful Living, Dr. Kathleen Hall, The Stress Institute,, MLN, Alter Your Life, Mindful Health, Health, cancer discrimination, working with breast cancer, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Breast cancer treatment, is cancer a disability under ada

Thousands of women today are working with breast cancer. It impacts their personal and professional lives (especially with cancer discrimination). This October, in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we’ve listed some Mindful tips for dealing with breast cancer treatment at the office.

According to the American Cancer Society, female breast cancer incidence rates have decreased since 2000. The breast cancer death rates have continued to decrease as well since 1989 and the number of survivors has continued to increase. In fact, there are 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the US alone. However, this year more than 232,000 women found out that they have breast cancer, which will impact their personal and professional lives.

Breast Cancer Discrimination

Breast cancer treatment can cause side effects that may impact a woman’s work performance. Post-traumatic stress disorder, memory loss, insomnia, headaches, fatigue, fainting, dizziness, depression, breathing problems, and anxiety are just a few examples. There are many women who are afraid of discussing their illness in fear of losing their job. However, if you experience side effects that interfere with your work you may consider taking the Mindful steps listed below.

Working with Breast Cancer
Research: Is Cancer a Disability Under ADA?

Doing your research can help ease your mind and help prepare you for making tough decisions about your health and your career. One of the first things people ask themselves: “Is cancer a disability under ADA?” The answer is yes. You cannot lose your job because you have breast cancer. That would be cancer discrimination. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) require that businesses provide accommodations for people with disabilities, which include cancer. This could mean working from home or changing your work schedule.

Speak With Your Superiors

When you feel comfortable, talk to your boss and the human resources office. Be ready to discuss treatment plans and answer questions about work performance. Be honest, especially about the accommodations you may need in the future and remember to stay positive. Telling your coworkers is also your decision if you choose not to remember to ask your supervisor for their corporation.

Find Tips

There are many other resources available for working women with breast cancer. This includes the American Chemical Society and websites such as They offer tips for working during your breast cancer treatment, taking time off work, and they also have tips for looking for a new job.

Finally, for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, remember that staying mindful, prepared, and positive can greatly impact your work experience. It can also impact your health.

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