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Do people still work while going through chemotherapy?
I have a friend who has cancer and she is worried her job may try to make her stay home if they find out she is going through chemo. She works with food.

Chemotherapy puts radiation in the body, killing the cancer and shutting down the immune system which will eventually lead to death. Chemo"therapy" was actually used in WWI and WWII to kill people in concentration camps.....

If i had cancer, i wouldn't go do chemotherapy at all. I recommend reading Natural Cures "they" dont want you to know about By Kevin Tredeau

Have your friend check into
high alkaline diets and their
positive effect against cancer.

She can't be forced to stay home just because she is going through chemo. It would be different if she had an infectious disease, but cancer itself is not infectious. This is not to say she may not have infections in the future because if a patient has had surgery for the cancer, infections are possible. They are also likely because the patient's immune system and resistance to illnesses is compromised due to the chemo chemicals.

Since she works with food, sometimes when a patient is taking chemo, they become very sensitive to smells which will cause them to throw up. She may become anemic and tired as well.

Perhaps, she could talk with her supervisor and reduce her hours if she encounters any of the aforementioned problems. If she finds she is unable to work at all, she is entitled to FMLA Leave as long as she meets the following criteria:

To be eligible for FMLA benefits, an employee must:

work for a covered employer;
have worked for the employer for a total of 12 months*;
have worked at least 1,250 hours over the previous 12 months*; and work at a location in the United States or in any territory or possession of the United States where at least 50 employees are employed by the employer within 75 miles.

My son underwent high dose chemotherapy for 9 months and another 10 months on low dose chemotherapy. He was able to complete high school, graduate with his class, and take college classes. So, the answer is that people can work or go to school during chemotherapy and do anything that they feel well enough doing. Obviously, if they are in the hospital taking treatment they will need those days off (my son was hospitalized for the high dose chemo with a cycle of every 21 days). It helps to have an employer who is sympathetic to the disease and understands the time off. There are laws to protect individuals from being fired because of their disease. Your friend should make sure she understands the law and if her employer questions her than she can show him documentation. Have her read about her rights:

Your Employment Rights As A Cancer Survivor

Q&A about Cancer in the Workplace

my mom kept working while she was doing chemo, it made her tired, but she wanted to work to keep her mind off of things. I hope your friend does really well and the chemo knocks out her cancer:)

My sister could not work while going thru chemo, it made her tired and made her sick to her stomach, i guess everyone is different though. I am sure her doctor will advise her on what to do, I guess it all comes down to how she feels after it. Good luck

city girl
It is against the American Disabilities Act that Clinton I believe formed for an employer to fire her for having cancer and going through chemo. And to answer your question yes she can continue to work and it will probably be hard at times but my father did it when he was alive. He normally did his chemo on a friday and was back on the road monday cause he travel alot for work. So yes it can be done.

burning brightly
There are ways around this she should have her dr write a letter requesting light duties during the chemo part and see what happens.

I know of people who have continued to work while on chemo. I'm not sure what they've told their employers. If they make her stay home, she may qualify for disability or unemployment.

If her job has some physical aspects of it, she might not be able to hang. She may often feel sick, nauseous too. The chemo can't get into the food.

k_man_su is full os BS. I'd appreciate if you only comment on subjects like these with first hand experience, friends, relatives that have gone thru this. You are an idiot!

I have survived 4 rounds of chemo for BC & feel great, better every day! Currently going through radiation also. I worked through most, maybe cutting some days short due to fatigue during chemo. It helped keep me sane. And since I'm typing this reply, clearly it hasn't killed me!!


they cannot force someone out because she is on chemo - that's a law suit for big bucks. You are not toxic (usually form chemo) and if they are worried it is the responsiblity to find her a anouther position, at sme pay in the company. They cannot discriminate for a health problem.

She needs to know what type of chemo and what to expect and then put a treatment plan in place, working with her job. If they try to let her go because she needs treatment - contact the States' employemnt division make shure she keeps notes of who she talked to and what they said, in case it gets ugly

biggest issue is to KEEP healthcare - chemo cost big bucks (mine is $1500 a months and some runst to 5 and 6 K a month) without ins it is hard to manage.

This probably also comes under hadicap laws too


It depends on the kind of chemo she is taking they are not all a like. Also, it depends on how she is handling the treatment.
More she can do will be much better for her.

All cancer chemo is poison that is just a fact but more she works with it and understands what she is taking and its side effects better the out come on both treatment and what she can or can't do.

Working with food might effect her if she is sensitive to certain smells that is something she will determine.
As far as her telling anyone at working that again depends on her knowing her employer. some are very supportive other fear it and won't deal very well.

You didn't say what type of cancer she has. But there are a number of online support groups. Breast cancer has Breastcancer.org. They have a good chat support group as do may of the other cancer groups.
Best to your friend.

Too vague! How much chemo is she getting?? Once a week, daily, for how long???

If she takes it in stride, why not go to work. If he is ill, or whatever, maybe not.

This is a question the people at the Chemocenter could best answer. Start there.

I am seeing posts here for which professional help may be necessary to respond. With so few facts at hand, it sounds like the writer just wants to hear what he/she wants to hear.

Some. I personally know of two people who did.

Alrighty...i say this from personal experience:

Some people handle chemotherapy better than others, it effects people differently, as well as has different side effects. I myself, as a cancer patient, did continue to work in my last few months of chemotherapy. Some, not all drugs cause hair loss, and that is usually within the first few weeks of chemo, if this is the case she could either shave it off, or wear a hair net, or wig. I believe that she is under no obligation to tell her boss's that she is undergoing chemotherapy, although they may better understand if she is sick, or fatigued. I believe no boss can make you take time off work, nor can they take your job away from you if you choose not to work. I see no problem working with the food, or working in general. She just has to be careful if her chemotherapy affects her immune system, and has to be careful to not get sick, and to stay away from crowds if she has a low immune system.

So yes, people can, and do work while going through chemotherapy. I DID!!, and i work as a nurse doing 8 hour shifts.

Many chemo patients (myself included) handle chemo fine. I have a few "icky" days where I don't feel great but most of the time, I do fine.

The biggest issue working with food, would be more concern for her than for customers. Cancer patients counts drop low after chemo and we are prone to getting infections. If she is exposed to something like E-coli, Salmonella or another disease she could become very sick and end up in the hospital.

If she handles chemo well and is careful when working with food, there shouldn't be a reason for her to stop working.

My friend just finished chemo and she is back to work, although she stays very tired all the time.

a heart so big
I don't know why she couldn't continue working if she feels up to it. And I don't think she's obligated to tell them.

Yes, they can. I don't think a job can make you quit for goin' through chemotherapy. I believe, that if they do, you have a lawsuit for discrimination.

taking chemo will not affect the food in any way.
The only effect they may be worried about is hair loss.
Depending on how your friend handles the chemo, she should be able to work - however it is extremely hard on your body. Your friend might be wiser to take a leave of absence from her job and concentrate on fighting her cancer.

♥ aaalex.
Going through Chemo shouldn't allow her to quit working. It makes you really tired and feel sick sometimes, but nothing is contagious so as long as she's fine, her work should be fine with it as well.

If she feels like working, then she should continue to work. Sometimes work, itself, is good mental and physical therapy. I often see people work and maintain a pretty normal life while undergoing chemo & radiation therapy. Best wishes to you. It's great she has a friend like you, too.

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