This page is about work, money issues and other issues in your
daily life like getting around, help at home and travel.
If you're living with and after cancer then continuing to work
or returning to work can be an important way of getting back to
everyday life. But not everyone is able to continue working, and
some men decide to work part-time, or take early retirement.
You may need to take time off work for treatments. This includes
time for travelling to hospital and in some cases time to recover.
See our surgery
page for information about time off after surgery. Ask your
doctor or nurse for advice on how much time you will need to take
off. Side effects of treatments could affect your working
day. For example, having urinary problems, hot flushes or tiredness
may mean you need to take extra breaks.
Your rights at work
If you have prostate cancer then the Equality Act 2010 covers
you. The Equality Act is a law that protects anyone who has, or has
had, a disability. Even if you no longer have cancer, you will
continue to be protected against discrimination at work. Under the
Equality Act your employer has a duty to make 'reasonable
adjustments' to workplaces and working practices to make sure that
you get the same chances as the people you work with.
Some examples of reasonable adjustments include:
- allowing you time off to attend medical appointments
- allowing extra breaks
- temporarily allowing you to have lighter duties
- providing adequate toilet facilities
You can find out more about the Equality Act and working during
and after cancer treatment from Macmillan Cancer Support.
What else can help?
Let your employer know more about prostate cancer and how its
impacts on you. If you do not feel like talking about it then
you could give them some of our publications to read.
Take a look at your company policies and employee handbook if
you have one. Talk to your occupational health service for
Go to your employer with suggestions about what would help you.
For example: taking extra breaks, working from home, flexible
hours, changing your job role or duties for a while.
Know your legal rights. Find out more about the Equality Act and
make sure your boss or company is aware of it. You could also
contact your union if you are part of one.
If you are self-employed or if you are looking for work you can
get more specific information from Macmillan Cancer Support or the charity RADAR.
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If you are struggling with the financial costs of cancer, or
your income has changed you can get some help.
If you have had time off work find out if statutory sick pay and
occupational or company sick pay are relevant to you. Check your
employment contract or contact the Benefit Enquiry Line on 0800 882
200 or Gov.UK.
The benefits you are entitled to will vary depending on whether
you are working, how old you are and other factors. You could
also be entitled to help with housing costs such as mortgage
interest payments, services charges or ground rent.
To get more information about benefits and how to apply for
- Call the Benefits Enquiry Line 0800 882 200 or visit Gov.UK online.
- Citizen's Advice offer free, independent,
confidential and impartial advice.
- Macmillan Cancer Support offer benefit advice,
as well as information about help with costs of travel to and from
hospital, other medical costs and free prescription.
Grants from other charities or organisations are available.
Contact Turn2us for advice about other grants that you
might be relevant to you.
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Some men with prostate cancer have told us that they had
difficulty carrying out their usual activities. This may be because
of side effects like pain, or because they are not as mobile as
they used to be. It may that you need some extra help in the home
or with getting around.
In the home
Get in touch with social services department or your GP to see
if they can give you some advice or support. You can ask
social services for an assessment, this is to see whether you or
your carer if you have one, need any services. This includes:
- equipment or adaptations to your home
- help at home, for example with getting dressed, cooking or
tasks like housework or shopping
- breaks away from home for you or anyone who is caring for
Other people who can help
- Occupational therapists can help you overcome any practical
problems that you might have and help you live as independently as
- A social worker can give you advice about practical issues such
as money, work and things to make day-to-day living easier. Your
specialist team or GP could also arrange for you to meet an OT or
- Community, district and Macmillan nurses can offer medical care
at home and give you or your partner or family advice ways to look
- You may also be able to arrange to have other care staff visit
you at home.
Speak to social services, GP or other health professionals about
getting access to these services.
Driving and public transport
The Blue Badge Scheme gives parking benefits to people with a
disability who find if very hard to walk. If you use public
transport in some cases you can get discounts and free travel. Gov.UK has
information about applying for this scheme.
The Motability Scheme can help you with leasing a car, powered
wheelchair or scooter if you are receiving certain benefits. You
could also get help to adapt the car you already have to make it
more suitable. Citizen's Advice offer advice suitable for you
and where you are living.
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If you're planning a holiday your cancer could affect things
like where you go and how long you go away for. This shouldn't stop
you from travelling but it may affect what you need to take with
you and the sort of things you do while you're away.
Some of the things you might want to think about are listed
below. You can also read our Travel
timeline for tips on preparing for your trip.
Your treatment and the way you're feeling
- If you need to have new vaccinations, check with your doctor
that it's safe for you to have them.
- Radiotherapy treatment may make your skin more sensitive to the
sun. This might affect where you go and the things you do on
- Chemotherapy can weaken your immune system, making it easier
for you to pick up infections. You may need to take extra care of
your health on holiday.
- If you've had brachytherapy you could set off airport radiation
sensors. Ask your doctor for an advice card saying you've had
treatment with internal radiation. Take this with you, especially
when travelling by air.
- Having cancer - and treatments such as surgery, hormone therapy
and chemotherapy - may increase your risk of getting a blot clot,
especially when flying. Speak to your doctor or nurse about
Travelling with your medication
- Ask your doctor for a letter saying what your medicines are
- Carry information about your condition, medicines and
treatments in case you need to see a doctor while you're away.
- Make sure you have enough medicine to last your entire trip -
and some extra in case of emergencies.
- Check if you need a special license to travel with your
- Some airlines have special rules about transporting
prescription medicines. Before you travel, check whether you need
to make any special arrangements for transporting your
- Check if you need to store your medicines in any special
conditions, for example a cool bag or fridge?
- Keep a list of the proper names (not just the brand names) and
doses of your medicines in case you need to get more.
What to pack and other arrangements
- If you have urinary problems and use pads, make sure you pack
enough for your trip and a few extra in case of delays.
- If you use a catheter, take a spare one and plenty of extra
drainage bags or catheter valves with you.
- If you're travelling to a non-English speaking country, it
might be a good idea to have your medical documents
- If you need a wheelchair, access to a toilet or a special meal
for your journey, ask your travel company to sort this out before
Getting healthcare abroad
- Apply for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if you
don't already have one. This allows you to have medical treatment
in most European countries for free, or at a lower cost.
- The EHIC does not always cover the full cost of treatment and
it does not cover everything.
- Buy travel insurance that covers any problems you might have
while you're away.
Tips for getting travel insurance
If you're travelling abroad, it's a good idea to buy travel
insurance before your trip. Travel insurance covers the cost of
things that go wrong while you're away. For example, you might lose
your suitcase or have to cancel your holiday. It can also cover the
cost of any medical treatment that isn't covered by the EHIC, so
it's very very important to get travel insurance, even if you're
staying in Europe.
- Look up the cost of your travel insurance before booking your
trip as the insurance for some destinations is more expensive than
- Get quotes from high street companies as well as insurance
brokers and specialist companies.
- Make sure you know exactly what you're covered for, and what
you're not covered for.
- Macmillan Cancer Support provides a list of travel insurance companies and brokers
that might be useful. This list is updated every six months but
insurance companies change their policies often so you may want to
look into other companies as well.
Read our online fact sheet: Travel and
prostate cancer, for more information about planning a holiday
and tips for sorting out travel insurance.
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