Ovarian Cancer Canada

Western Regional Blog – BC, YK, AB, NWT and Nunavut

Cancer and Returning to Work: A Practical Guide for Cancer Patients

Second Edition, Created by Maureen Parkinson, M.Ed, CCRC, Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor, Psychosocial Oncology Program, BC Cancer Agency


Free to download from:

✓the Coping with Cancer section of the BC Cancer Agency website


✓Psychosocial Oncology Professional section of the BC Cancer Agency website


✓Hard copies will be for sale through the C&W Online Bookstore in early May for $20 plus tax and shipping


For the last 19 years, the B.C. Cancer Agency has offered vocational rehabilitation support for cancer patients across the province. These services include individual vocational rehabilitation counselling and consultations on job search, education, work related insurance issues, rehabilitation services, and human rights.

In 2011, a ‘Return to Work’ seminar was developed for patients who expected to return to work at their former workplace. The information shared focused on 3 areas: developing a rehabilitation plan, enhancing workplace well-being, and handling workplace transition. Based on clinical research and participant feedback, a companion workbook was created in 2012.

A more extensive second edition, Cancer and Returning to Work: A Practical Guide for Cancer Patients has just been published. It has been designed to be helpful for patients in anticipating and problem solving around challenges regarding returning to work. This workbook incorporates feedback from over 35 patients and 25 health care professionals including physicians, insurance providers, lawyers, and employer/employer representatives. We value your feedback on this 2nd edition of the guide. There are evaluations on the BC Cancer website below the free download links that we hope you will fill in and fax back to us.

For vocational rehabilitation counselling support, cancer patients registered with B.C. Cancer Agency can book in person appointments or phone consultations with a vocational rehabilitation counsellor by calling their local cancer centres. Health care professionals can also consult with the vocational rehabilitation counsellor by calling 604-877-6000 or 1-800-663-333, ext. 672126 (Mondays and Fridays).

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