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Information about all aspects of finances affected by a serious health condition. Includes income sources such as work, investments, and private and government disability programs, and expenses such as medical bills, and how to deal with financial problems.
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Newly Diagnosed With Prostate Cancer: At Work


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Prostate cancer does not have a negative long-term impact on the careers of most men. There may be problems in the work place in the short term, but they do not affect the long term.

There are two issues to consider immediately:

  • Whether to tell your employer and/or co-workers (and if so, what to tell)
  • What accommodations you may need to enable you to do your job because of your health condition and/or treatment.

Before taking any action:

  • Take the time to think through your needs. Give emotions a chance to settle. If you can, take a few days off.
  • Ask your doctor how your cancer and/or treatments will impact your work. If he or she doesn't know, the doctor can likely point you to a person who can such as a staff member, another man in a similar situation or a social worker.
  • Look for an advisor at work - someone who knows the culture well enough to give advice and who will keep your information confidential..
  • Learn about your legal rights. For example, the Americans With Disabilities Act and similar laws provide protection against discrimination. The ADA also requires that you be given a reasonable accommodation to allow you to do your work. 
  • Start keeping track of facts that would be relevant to a discrimination claim. Making notes as things happen becomes strong evidence in the event you want to file a claim in the future.

If you will take time off, think about how to do it in a manner that least disrupts your income and benefits.

  • Call your time away from work whatever will maximize time off with benefits.
  • Learn about protections such as the Family And Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
  • Think about where income will come from during the time off.

When you have a chance, review employer benefits from the perspective of a man with prostate cancer. For example, if your employer offers life insurance, take what you can or increase the amount you already have during an open enrollment period when no medical questions are asked. Likewise, consider disability and/or long term care insurance.

Accept the credit card offers you receive because you work. Credit can come in handy to pay medical and other bills or to provide cash if you need it. Do not use the cards beyond what is necessary to keep them active and fee free.

If you want more information about work: This document contains the basics needed at work after a new diagnosis of prostate cancer. Additional work subjects of interest to men with prostate cancer can be found in our document: Work: At Work.

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