Join us in Chicago, on Friday, April 8th

chicago-theatre-890350_640For the third year in a row, Cancer and Careers will travel to the Windy City to host a free, daylong event focused on the challenges working people with cancer face in their efforts to balance treatment/recovery and employment.
Cancer and Careers’ Chief Mission Officer Rebecca Nellis will co-present with Triage Cancer’s Chief Operating Officer, Monica Bryant to provide patients, survivors, healthcare professionals, caregivers, and employers the information and tools they need to address important issues.  Among the topics that will be covered: disclosure, privacy & online brand; working through treatment and returning to work, including legal rights; managing finances; and health insurance options. In addition to the in-person presentations, attendees will be given helpful materials – including guides, workbooks & one-sheets – to take with them, for easy reference.
The Conference will be held at the Hotel Chicago Downtown and begins with breakfast at 8:00 AM. Lunch and parking are provided as well. To register, go to We hope to see you there!
If you’re unable to join us in April, we’ll be partnering with Triage Cancer again – this time in NYC – for Cancer and Careers’ annual National Conference on Work & Cancer, on June 17th. Triage Cancer has been an integral partner on this, CAC’s biggest event, since it launched six years ago. So we’re excited to have them involved again. Both Joanna Morales, Triage Cancer’s CEO, and Monica Bryant, will be there to present. For information and to register for the National Conference, go to Travel scholarships are available for the National Conference; applications are due by April 15th.
If you’re on the West Coast, save the date of Saturday, October 15, 2016, when we’ll host our second West Coast Conference, in Los Angeles. Again, Triage Cancer will be there! Details and registration will be available at the end of March, at

West Coast Conference on Work & Cancer

Triage Cancer is excited to partner with Cancer and Careers for the first-ever West Coast Conference on Work & Cancer, next Friday, November 13th!

This free, daylong event explores the challenges of balancing treatment and recovery withWest Coast Conference Flyer 2015 employment and is open to patients, survivors, healthcare professionals* and anyone else touched by cancer.

Our CEO, Joanna Morales, and Rebecca Nellis, chief mission officer of Cancer and Careers will present on topics including:

  • Disclosure
  • Working through treatment
  • Health insurance options
  • Legal issues
  • Job-search
  • …and more!

Below are more details about the event. Space is filling up, so be sure to register today!

Date: Friday, November 13, 2015
Time: 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM (breakfast & lunch provided)
Location: The Center at Cathedral Plaza, 555 W. Temple St., Los Angeles (Free parking)

Website for more information:

*Free CEUs are available for oncology nurses and social workers.

If you’re in the Midwest, save the date for our Midwest Conference on Work & Cancer on Friday, April 8th in Chicago!

Succeeding in the Workplace After a Cancer Diagnosis

by: Lindsey Montoya

Finding a happy medium between getting the job done efficiently and coping with the side RAeffects of cancer treatments is difficult. Many people who have been diagnosed with cancer spend a considerable amount of time worrying not just about their health and recovery, but about how their recovery is going to affect their career. How will I cope with the side effects while on the job? What will my boss do if I can’t perform as I once did? Will my coworkers understand? Fortunately, there is a great resource for both employees facing cancer and employers learning how to accommodate them.

The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is a service of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy. JAN provides both employers and employees with ideas and support to help employees with a disability or immediate health concern to keep performing their jobs in a way that meets both parties’ needs. With “reasonable accommodations,” cancer patients can be more comfortable in their jobs, and in turn, work more efficiently and effectively.

So what are “reasonable accommodations?” Generally, they can be any change in a work space, schedule, or policy that helps an individual with a disability to enjoy equal employment opportunities. There are a myriad of side effects that cancer patients and survivors may experience during the workday, causing a need for a reasonable accommodation. Some side effects include: hair loss, weakened immune system, fatigue, weakness, respiratory difficulties, skin irritations, stress, depression, anxiety, and temperature sensitivity, just to name a few. JAN helps employers/employees determine the limitations and problematic job tasks that cancer patients may face, and the accommodations available to reduce or eliminate these problems in different types of jobs.

Accommodation ideas:

Symptom: Fatigue/Weakness
Possible accommodations: Reduce or eliminate physical exertion, schedule periodic rest breaks, allow a flexible work schedule, allow work from home, implement ergonomic workstation design, provide a mobility aid, provide parking close to work-site, install automatic door openers, move equipment/materials close to employee, move workstation close to other work areas, reduce noise

Symptom: Respiratory Difficulties
Possible accommodations: Provide adjustable ventilation, keep work environment free from dust, smoke, odor, and fumes, implement a “fragrance-free” and/or a “smoke-free” environment, avoid extreme temperatures, allow use of fan/heater at workstation, redirect air conditioner/heater vents

Symptom: Skin Irritations
Possible accommodations: Avoid infectious agents and chemicals, avoid invasive procedures, provide alternative and protective clothing

Symptom: Stress
Possible accommodations: Provide sensitivity training to coworkers, allow telephone calls to doctors and other support systems during work hours, provide information on counseling and employee assistance programs, implement flexible scheduling, allow a modified break schedule, allow leave for counseling, allow work from home

Symptom: Temperature Sensitivity
Possible accommodations: Modify work-site temperature, modify dress code, allow use of fan/heater at workstation, allow work from home during extreme heat or cold, redirect air conditioning/heating vents, provide an office with separate temperature controls

There are many ideas and products that can be used to accommodate employees facing challenges at work related to their medical conditions. JAN has a searchable online database to discover additional options that can help you in the workplace.

For more information about protections in the workplace, visit:

For more information about managing work and cancer, visit

New job? Where will you sit?

CAC Logo Updated 2015by Joanna Morales, Esq.

Thinking about a career change? Looking for a new job? Wanting to get back into the workforce?

Then Cancer and Careers is a resource for you. In addition to providing all sorts of information about how to balance work and a cancer diagnosis, they provide a free resume review service, a free job coaching services and free educational events.

For example, Cancer and Careers hosts a free, annual National Conference on Work and Cancer in New York on June 12th. They do offer travel scholarships – the deadline is April 15th! For you west-coasters, they are also bringing a regional conference to LA on November 13th – stay tuned . . .

In the meantime, here is an interesting list of the 10 questions that you should ask before you accept a job offer: Being interviewed is a two-way street. You need to interview the company!

But my favorite suggested question is actually the last one – where will you sit? My first job after graduating from law school, I had a public interest law fellowship. I was so excited about the fellowship, that I never thought to ask this question. For the first few months I worked there, they didn’t have a desk for me, so I floated from cubicle to cubicle that was intended for the volunteers, until they found a spot for me. A “spot” opened up because they moved the copier out of a cutout in the wall, which opened up a space to move a desk into. Then I shared an office, then moved to a dark closet that they tried to convince me was an office. When I worked at the cancer center, they actually did turn a closet into an office space for me.

If you’re going to spend so many hours of your day (in my case it was often 10-12) sitting in a space, you should make a conscious decision about whether or not that works for you. Maybe it’s not the type of job where you sit – it’s still important to ask yourself if it’s a place where you want to spend so many precious hours a week.

For more about the job search process, Cancer and Careers offers a free Job Search Toolkit.