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Careers for Cancer Patients

Sungwon Chung,

APPA Youth Intern

Grade 11, Ridge High School


Careers for Cancer Patients

Finding a suitable job can be very difficult for cancer patients undergoing therapy, or those who have recovered but suffer long term effects. Based on the effects of a cancer, or side effects from treatments, certain jobs may be out of reach for many people. For example, it will be difficult for someone undergoing chemotherapy to perform physical labor, such as becoming a construction worker. A job for cancer patients should allow for all of their needs to be well met, whether it is financial or physical.

Regardless of whatever type of job people choose to take on, they must take into account multiple factors. These include not just the current situation they are in, but also what may happen in the future. People should think about benefits provided by a company, how employers expectations for work hours may change overtime, and additional responsibilities that the job might require from them, as well as the amount of energy they have during or after treatment.

Ultimately, the most well suited jobs for cancer patients are known as Flexible Jobs. Flexible jobs will give rough time and flexibility for people to make appointments and not overstress themselves, while still providing them an opportunity to work. Flexible Jobs often fall into two main categories: part-time work, and independent contracts.

The average time for a part-time job is four hours per day. However, people should ask about the flexibility of these hours, and make sure that the schedule will allow for enough time to receive treatment and not exhaust themselves. As people’s conditions improve overtime, they may take on multiple part-time jobs in order to increase financial stability. People may also choose to find part-time jobs which will have them work from home. This is elaborated upon later.

If part-time jobs are not well suited for one’s needs, they may also look towards contract work, which is also referred to as freelancing. With this type of employment, people are usually providing services for as long as the project, or part of a project set by a company lasts. It must be well noted however, that contract workers generally will not receive health or insurance benefits from their contractor, though this may vary based on the company.

Some full time and part-time jobs allow for people to work from home. The full time jobs from home may be a good starting place for those who have recovered and finished their cancer therapy, but are still low in energy for a full job that other people may have. Meanwhile, part-time jobs that can be done from home will allow for more flexibility for people who are still undergoing cancer therapies. A few examples of jobs that can be done from home are telemarketing, web developers, writers, editors, or call center representatives. Things such as web development may be easier for those who already have a background in the field.

It is important to carefully lay out the pros and cons of working from home, since balancing personal life and work life may be difficult, especially for those who have not experienced it before. Difficulties may not only arise from having pets or young children, but also from things such as Television, or the internet, which may inhibit a person’s ability to focus and get their work completed on time.

While choosing their jobs, people must not forget to take into account their own personal preferences as well. It can become much more difficult to sustain or continue a job if it is not well suited to a person’s interests, or is too demanding of skills that someone does not have. Taking on a job with good pay but unsuited may result in more overall stress than prior to taking on a job.

It is important for cancer patients and cancer survivors to have a job, not only for financial stability, but also because being employed can help a person’s morale stay high during treatment. In addition, having things to do by keeping busy helps people’s minds from dwelling on the negative effect that cancer has brought to their lives.

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