Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Breast Cancer Health Center

Font Size

Breast Cancer: Answers to Your Questions

How do you tell the kids? How can you stay calm? There are some questions your doctor can't answer. Here are insights from people who understand – other women with breast cancer.

How do I deal with my job?

The Americans with Disabilities Act protects people with cancer from discrimination or layoffs if their company receives any federal funding. Most private employers follow those guidelines. Also, you'll want to check into your options for disability pay, use of sick leave, Social Security benefits, and the Family Medical Leave Act. (See Earning a Living.)

So the main question you need to answer is, what do you want to do about work?

One woman had never liked her job, and her husband was well-employed. After she got her diagnosis, she simply walked into work and quit. Other women liked their jobs and kept working throughout treatment. Still others took a year off despite the financial strain, and then returned to work. Again, spend time getting to know yourself so you'll know what's right for you.

When you tell your boss, be generous with yourself. Overestimate the time off you may need. Ask for a temporary part-time schedule. You can always come roaring back early if you feel good.

There's always some initial awkwardness with co-workers. It helps if your boss or a friendly co-worker tells the others so you don't have to retell your story 100 times! Even so, people are going to want to know how you feel, and you're going to have to deal with that.

Most women on the WebMD message boards who returned to work found that they needed to break the ice so everyone could feel comfortable. Some went back joking. One older woman even asked the younger women, "You want to see?" and off they would troop to the bathroom. Don't forget that every woman fears breast cancer and is curious. Others simply said, "I'm back and I feel OK most days, but please, don't ask me every day. I want to talk about something other than breast cancer."

You might want to use one close co-worker as your town crier. Find someone you're comfortable talking with, fill her (or him) in on the details you want passed along.

Today on WebMD

Breast Cancer Overview
From self-exams and biopsies to reconstruction, we’ve got you covered.
Dealing with breast cancer
Get answers to your questions.
woman having mammogram
Experts don’t agree on all fronts, but you can be your own advocate.
woman undergoing breast cancer test
Many women worry. But the truth? Most abnormalities aren’t breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Treatments Improving
Resolved To Quit Smoking
Woman getting mammogram
Screening Tests for Women
ovarian cancer overview slideshow
serious woman
what is your cancer risk
10 Ways to Revitalize Slideshow