At Work

How to Support a Cancer Patient in the Workplace

Every cancer patient deals with their troubles differently, depending on their personality and lifestyle. It affects them both physically and emotionally, so if some of your employees are diagnosed with cancer, you need to be able to help them when it comes to their career in every way possible. You need to learn all the facts, so that you can offer assistance to meet their needs. It’s important to consult with your Human Resources department and learn about all the ways in which you can help your employees.

It’s important that you don’t treat them differently and, thus, make them feel uncomfortable, but to assist them like you would in case of any other health problem. Of course, you must have in mind the fact that they will certainly need a little bit of adjustment at work, but you should definitely not treat them as if they have a disability.

You need to talk to your other employees as well and ensure that there isn’t any prejudice involved or any other kind of discrimination. Here are the crucial things you should do if an employee in your organization is diagnosed with cancer.


Allow Flexible Working Hours


It is a fact that an employee with cancer will need some time off once in awhile, especially when their treatment begins. You need to talk to them and tell them that they don’t need to fear that they would lose their job if they don’t come to work sometimes. It’s completely normal to take some time off, especially if they don’t feel well and need rest.

In many cases, people diagnosed with cancer become more energized and they want to work harder, since that helps them cope with the illness and it makes them feel better. They even become more productive and more focused on their career. However, many people need a more flexible working schedule and you need to provide it for them.

Allow them to work from home if they want to or to take extra time off, without it affecting their career. They are having a difficult time and they should be able to take medical leave if it gets difficult for them to function at work.


Let Them Adjust in Their Own Way


Everyone copes with a cancer diagnosis in their own way, so it is crucial that you let an employee with cancer adjust at work in the way they feel most comfortable. However, you should keep the lines of communication open and encourage them to openly talk about it if they want to. Offer them a listening ear and be there for them whenever they need you to. You should encourage your other employees to do the same and offer any kind of help and support, as well as assistance at work.

If they don’t want to talk about their health problem, don’t push it. Let them adjust in their own way. Being focused on work provides them with a distraction from any problem they have, especially when it’s something as serious as cancer. That is why many people don’t want to talk about it at work, since it is the one place where they can take their mind off of it all and direct their energy towards something other than doctor’s appointments and treatment.


Make It Easier for Them


You are responsible for the well-being of your every employee, so it’s important to keep up with everything that is going on with an employee who has cancer, so that you can be of every possible assistance. Not treating them differently than your other employees is important, but you should rearrange the workload. They may require extra work, but you should make it easier for them by giving them fewer tasks to deal with, so that they don’t stress out over having to do too much to do.

Offer them some medical help, that is, recommend a good doctor or, even better, schedule the appointment for them. Find the best medical oncology center and help them get the care and treatment they need. It’s crucial for them to get all the support and understanding they need. So, make sure you provide it to them.
Dealing with cancer is stressful and frightening, but work can truly help a lot especially in a healthy work environment. It can distract people trying to cope with cancer and make them feel a lot better. Therefore, if you happen to have an employee who is dealing with this terrible disease, make sure you do everything in your power to provide them with assistance and a little bit of different work settings to perfectly meet their needs. Nevertheless, remember that the most important thing is to simply be there for them in their time of need.