“For me it’s helpful to go to work, not thinking of cancer all the day.”
“It depends on the investigations that you need, the treatments that you are on, which may involve taking time off work”
“I wish I’d have been diagnosed years ago, it would have helped my career maybe.”
“It depends on the tumours you have on whether you’ll be able to work, and it depends on the treatment you will get.”
Deciding whether to continue or cut back on working will also depend on how you feel during and after treatment. You may find that exercising can help to relieve your fatigue and improve your energy levels.
Your decision to work will also depend on the support and flexibility of your employer. Many people who want to continue working during treatment are able to do so in some capacity. Some people manage by adjusting their work hours for a while – or work part time, or become self-employed. Or you may also choose to take a break or, depending on your age and financial status, to retire.
Like other people living with NETs, you will probably need to attend several medical appointments to see your doctor, receive cancer treatments, and get tests to monitor your condition. Some of these appointments may be scheduled during working hours, at medical centres that may not be close to your work location.
Ask your doctor if they offer any ways to reduce your travel time, such as medical appointments by telephone or by using an Internet calling app such as Skype.
There is no obligation to share all the details about your diagnosis and treatment with your employer, but you may need to let them know about anything that may impact upon your ability to work or cause a health and safety risk for yourself or others.
Please check your employment terms to determine what information you need to share with your employer, as it can vary greatly depending on the agreed conditions.
For example, you may want to provide the following information:
If you do share this information you have the right to request that your employer does not divulge it to anyone.
You may need to talk with your doctor or multidisciplinary team before you can provide these answers, and you may not have some answers until you’ve started treatment. If you take paid personal leave because you are sick, your employer may require a medical document from your doctor confirming that you’re unwell.
For more information and advice about your employment rights, contact a social worker or occupational therapist. Your local patient support group or patient charity should also be able to help advise you on your rights at work.
Read practical tips from others to help make your life with NETs easier
Patient support groups for NETs can often provide social and emotional support
Learn about carcinoid tumours, GI-NETs, pancreatic NETs and lung NETs, and the symptoms of NETs