Cancer and cancer treatments can affect communication with others in some ways. Cancers of the head and neck may result in surgical procedures to remove affected speech organs such as the tongue or voice box (larynx). Brain tumours may affect specialized functional areas of the brain, making it difficult to speak or understand speech, reading and writing.
The ability to communicate is often required in many jobs and any impairment of this ability may have a significant impact on our roles and relationships, including those related to the performance of our work.
What you can do
Rehabilitation efforts may improve or restore functional abilities. A speech-language pathologist may recommend strategies to help patients and their families communicate with one another as well as possible. Speak to your healthcare team for more advice.
Modify your work tasks and how you work:
- Arrange for communication over instant-messaging or a chat program instead of the telephone or in-person.
- Consider alternate technology or ways to present information such as use of webinars, text-to-talk technology, videos, written information, etc.
- Work with your speech therapist to explore alternate communication devices to be used in the workplace.
- See also Accommodation Ideas for Hearing Loss at AskJAN.org.