Returning to Work
Get Well Soon
Helping you make a speedy recovery after a mastectomy
Returning to work
Fact: Work can be part of your recovery
Everyone needs time off to recover after an operation – but too much of it can stand in the way of you getting back to normal. Getting back to your normal routine when you are physically and emotionally ready for it can actually help you recover more quickly.
Getting back to work
How quickly you return to work very much depends on a number of things:
- Whether you need further surgery or other treatment such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
- How you heal.
- How you respond to surgery.
- The type of job you do.
- Whether you are psychologically ready to go back to work.
How soon can I go back?
There are no rules – every person recovers differently and has different needs.
You will return to the clinic after 1–2 weeks to see the surgeon and breast care nurse for your histology (cancer) results. You may need further surgery to the armpit, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, anti-hormone treatment or nothing more. What you need will influence how soon you can return to work. Some women choose to remain off work for the full duration of treatment. You may wish to try to do some work between treatments, or to visit work and keep in touch with your work friends and colleagues. This may help to maintain your confidence and make returning to work easier.
In the first instance, your surgeon and breast care nurse will help you work out what is right for you; if your employer has an occupational health nurse or doctor, they will also be able to advise you. Alternatively, your GP can give you advice. Ultimately, it’s your decision when you decide to go back, but listen to the advice offered to you.
You do not need your GP’s permission to go back to work – this is ultimately your decision, but listen to the advice offered to you.