Return to work made easier for cancer survivors

October 14, 2016 | ,

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 ( 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 Dr. 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. Dr. Mary Jane Esplen, Executive Director of de Souza Institute, an online educational oncology and palliative 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.”

Website debut

Prof. Maheu will launch Cancer and Work on Wednesday, October 19, 2016, (10am-2pm in the Wendy Patrick Room) with an open house at McGill University in the Ingram School of Nursing, along with cancer survivors and other collaborators, including her partners from across the country. Online, representatives of employers and employees also will be ready to speak about the website.

McGill University:

BC Cancer Agency:

de Souza Institute:

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Nicole Webb
Cancer and Work Communications Coordinator
Tel: (902) 293-5857

Dr. Christine Maheu
Tel. : (514) 616-5954
Email :

de Souza Institute
Deyan Kostovski