Western Regional Blog – BC, YK, AB, NWT and Nunavut
Return to work made easier for cancer survivors
Website brings together resources for cancer survivors, healthcare providers, and employers to support staying and returning to work
Returning to work after any illness can be a challenge. For cancer survivors, the return to work (RTW) can be especially difficult due to the effects of cancer and its treatment. Employers may lack understanding of cancer’s impact on work abilities, and how to provide accommodations at the workplace. Healthcare providers also have voiced a need for guidance on assessing readiness to return to work.
Cancer and Work (www.cancerandwork.ca) is a new, interactive website providing resources from across the country to survivors with practical, up-to-date information on returning to work, including support offered by provinces and territories. “Cancer is affecting people in the prime of their careers,” says Christine Maheu, Associate Professor, Ingram School of Nursing at McGill and Co-Principal Investigator on the cancer and work website. The website is a collaboration between McGill University, and the BC Cancer Agency, a provincial healthcare provider, in partnership with de Souza Institute.
One-stop shop web site
Cancer and Work offers under one umbrella the knowledge and experience of a far-reaching group of Canadian experts, including health professionals in oncology from vocational rehabilitation counsellors, occupational therapists and physiotherapists, to nurses, psychologists, lawyers, union representatives, insurance representatives, and cancer survivors who have gone through the experience, themselves. “Our website is unique, as we created it with cancer survivors for cancer survivors.” says Maheu.
“Given the increasing number of cancer survivors working, there is a greater need to support patients,” says Maureen Parkinson, Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor at the BC Cancer Agency, co-principal investigator on the Cancer and Work website. Mary Jane Esplen, Executive Director of de Souza Institute, an online educational oncology platform for healthcare providers adds that “the ease of navigation and the intuitive nature of the site will make it easy to maximize the potential of this resource.”
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