Cancer charity raises concerns over work pressures for patients

A fifth of cancer patients are facing discrimination when they return to work after treatment, a poll suggests.

Macmillan Cancer Support said that many bosses have “misconceptions” about employees with a cancer diagnosis.

The charity said in the last two years its helpline has seen unprecedented demand for help over workplace discrimination.

It said it has seen a 74% increase in the number of calls from cancer patients facing issues at work.

The problems raised have ranged from people needing help with unfair treatment from bosses and colleagues to cases of dismissal, it added.

Meanwhile, a survey of 1,500 British cancer patients found that 20% of employees who returned to work after cancer reported facing discriminatory treatment.

The charity issued a warning to employers that they could be breaking the law if they do not make reasonable adjustments for workers with cancer.

Liz Egan, programme lead for the Working Through Cancer initiative at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “We know how important it is to many people to work during cancer treatment, or return to employment afterwards, and this is entirely possible with the right support.

“Unfortunately, however, many bosses have misconceptions about employees with a cancer diagnosis.

“The rise in calls we have experienced to our helpline is staggering and shows just how vital it is that people with cancer have support and advice with their choices around work.

“We want to be able to support everyone living with cancer who needs us and are reliant on generous donations from the public to provide services like this.”

For more information about work and cancer visit and for access to the charity’s helpline call 0808 808 00 00 (Monday – Friday 9am-5pm).

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2018, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Pixabay.