Posted by Minnesota Oncology Physicians on May 31, 2022
When it comes to your medical history and health concerns, what you choose to divulge is up to you.
At the time of your cancer diagnosis, you may have decided to keep that information to yourself rather than sharing it with your coworkers. Now, as a cancer survivor ready to return to the workplace, you will once again need to decide how much information you wish to share.
While you could keep your cancer diagnosis a secret from coworkers, it really isn’t practical. After all, it’s likely you’ll look different when you return to work then you did when you left. You may be wearing a wig or your hair may be growing back. Perhaps you lost a significant amount of weight. Maybe you have some obvious lingering side effects from cancer treatment. If you don’t provide some sort of an explanation for these physical changes, your coworkers will probably worry about your overall health. When you do tell them, prepare for questions— but try to remember that it’s mostly out of concern for you!
How much information you divulge and how you approach these conversations is up to you. If you aren’t comfortable with being very open about your cancer journey, only share the highlights. No matter what you choose to share, just remember that most of your coworkers, including your boss, will be most concerned about how you’re doing physically and emotionally.