Cancer and Careers teleconferences help health care providers help their patients

Once diagnosed, many cancer patients are faced with a lot of decisions. Figuring out how to balance their careers with treatment, and eventually survivorship, is one of them. Since many patients often seek their doctor or nurse's advice, the Cancer and Careers 2010 Educational Series for Healthcare Professionals is focused entirely on work-related issues. On Thursday, April 1, health care professionals can participate in the second of three teleconferences that provide practical advice and answers to give a cancer patient with work-related concerns. I listened in on the first webinar, held March 4, which offered "Practical Tools and Advice to Balance Cancer and Employment." Guest speakers Rebecca Nellis, director of programs at Cancer and Careers, and Laura Mosiello, director of women's cancers at CancerCare, focused on the main issues and concerns a patient may have regarding work. These included whether or not to talk about your diagnosis, who to tell about it, and what to tell. They also covered treatment side effects and how to manage them in the workplace; seeking work-friendly treatment options; exploring taking time off and a patient's employment rights; and helping patients get back to "normal." Slides from the first teleconference are available at's session will help health care professionals advise their patients on "Re-entering the Workforce After Short and Long Absences." Topics will include interview strategies and resume tips, and the psychosocial issues patients face when returning to an old job or starting a new one. The third session, to be held May 6, will look at "Legal and Insurance Issues to Consider."You can register for Thursday's teleconference at To learn more about Cancer and Careers' resources for health care professionals, visit its website at