Cancer and its treatment affect everyone differently. For example, immediate and long-term side effects and the degree to which your patient may or may not experience them can depend on the type of cancer and the type of treatment they received. Below are some common symptoms and treatment effects that may impact your patient’s ability to work. The type of work they do can also affect the extent to which the symptoms may affect their ability to work. Learn how you can help your patient lessen the impact. Included are ideas for accommodating these common symptoms and treatment effects at work. Note that not all these ideas will suit every employee, job and workplace. Nor are employers obliged to put into place the suggested workplace accommodations. Rehabilitation specialists can also suggest workplace accommodations using professional assessments.
Not all symptoms are necessarily caused by cancer or its treatment. If your patient experiences new onset of or change in any of these symptoms, they need to seek medical advice.
- Sleep disturbances
- Nerve damage
- Hot flashes
- Breathing difficulties
- Nausea and vomiting
- Challenges to eating and nutrition
- Bleeding problems
- Changes in skin and nails
- Changes in bowel and bladder function
- Visual impairment
- Hearing impairment
- Impaired communication abilities
- Mobility impairment
- Changes in physical appearance
Emotional and psychological symptoms
Not sure where to start? Begin by exploring fatigue.
Other helpful resources and links
- Psycho-Oncology – A Quick Reference on the Psychological Dimentions of Cancer Symptom Management, Second Edition.1
- Pathways for Success: A Guide for Educators, Counsellors and Families for survivors of childhood cancer (Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario)
- Macmillan Cancer Support: Side Effects and Symptoms
- Canadian Cancer Society: Managing side effects