Cancer and its treatment affect everyone differently. This section presents some of the main symptoms that can result from your cancer and cancer treatments. The symptoms are organized by types – physical, cognitive, and emotional and psychological. Changes to your body can include immediate and long-term side effects and the degree to which you may or may not experience them can depend on the type of cancer and the type of treatment you received. Below are some common symptoms and treatment effects that may impact your ability to work. The type of work you do can also affect the extent to which the symptoms may affect your ability to work. Learn what you can do to lessen their impact. Also included are some ideas for job accommodations for these common symptoms and treatment effects. Note that not all these suggestions will suit every employee, job and workplace. Employers are not obliged to put into place the suggested workplace accommodations. Professional assessments by rehabilitation specialists can be helpful in providing suggestions for work accommodations for your workplace. To learn more, view our professional assessment section.
Not all symptoms are necessarily caused by your cancer or treatment. If you have a new onset of or change in any of these symptoms, speak with your doctor.
This section presents some of the main physical side effects that can be caused by your cancer and cancer treatments.
- Sleep disturbances
- Nerve damage
- Hot flashes
- Breathing difficulties
- Nausea and vomiting
- Other challenges to nutrition and feeding
- 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 with exploring fatigue.
Other helpful resources and links
- 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