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How should I tell my employer that I have cancer?

If you decide to disclose your cancer diagnosis to your employer, write down what you want to say and go over it with family and friends to get their feedback before meeting with your employer.
  • Practice what you want to say until you are comfortable, and try to avoid sharing too much detail or personal information.
  • When you speak with your employer, you may find it helpful to think of the conversation as a discussion in which you are trying to find a solution that works for everyone, rather than a situation in which you are demanding a certain result.
  • Keep in mind that your employer is likely to take cues from your attitude and confidence about whether you will be able to continue as an employee.
Your employer will probably want to know:
  • Whether you will be able to continue working
  • If you can continue to work, whether you will be able to continue to perform the duties of your job as well as before cancer
  • If you need to take time off from work for treatment, whether you are planning to return to your job

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.