Cancer and work with Dr. Christine Maheu (CANR Board Member)

Return to work made easier for cancer survivors

Website that 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) may prove to be difficult due to the effects of cancer, its treatment and, its impact on work abilities. Employers may lack an understanding of cancer, its impact on work and how to provide accommodations at the workplace. Healthcare providers 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 return-to-work (RTW), including support offered by provinces and territories. The website is a collaboration between McGill University, and the BC Cancer Agency, a provincial healthcare provider, in partnership with the de Souza Institute. “Cancer is affecting people in the prime of their careers,” says Dr. Christine Maheu, Associate Professor at, McGill University and Co-Principal Investigator on the cancer and work website.

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, physiotherapists, RTW coordinators, to nurses, psychologists, lawyers, union representatives, insurance representatives, as well as cancer survivors who have gone through the experience of cancer and work.” 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 with return to work and staying at work” 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 for cancer survivors, employers, and front line staff to maximize the potential of this resource.”

Cancer and work will launch Wednesday, October 19, 2016, with an open house at McGill University in the Ingram School of Nursing in Montreal with the presence of Dr. Maheu, cancer survivors and healthcare providers who have contributed to the content of the website. The website launch will also take place across the country with additional launches being held in

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