You are here: Home General Newly Diagnosed ... Newly Diagnosed ...
Information about all aspects of finances affected by a serious health condition. Includes income sources such as work, investments, and private and government disability programs, and expenses such as medical bills, and how to deal with financial problems.
Information about all aspects of health care from choosing a doctor and treatment, staying safe in a hospital, to end of life care. Includes how to obtain, choose and maximize health insurance policies.
Answers to your practical questions such as how to travel safely despite your health condition, how to avoid getting infected by a pet, and what to say or not say to an insurance company.

Being newly diagnosed with breast cancer while seeking work adds a traumatic event to an already stressful endeavor.

You may be tempted to speed up medical decisions such as which doctor(s) to choose and which treatments to undergo. Both of these decisions are important to your long term health and should not be rushed.

  • Particularly if you have Stage III or Stage IV breast cancer, consider getting a second opinion before you undergo treatment.. (See  Second Opinions 101  – including how to get a timely appointment.) 
  • It may be helpful to ask a close family member or friend to help you with these decisions. If you need help making a treatment decision, Cancer Support Community has a telephone line that helps make treatment decisions. Call 888.793.9355.

If you will undergo surgery, consider at least getting the surgery out of the way before continuing the job search. With surgery, you will likely need full days recuperating while physically not up to par. Your mental ability may be cloudy because of the anesthesia and pain medications. Other treatments can generally be done while working.

With respect to the job you are seeking, keep the following in mind.

  • Consider your health insurance situation.
    • If you have health insurance: Do not do anything that would affect your health insurance coverage for your existing condition. 
      • If a new job offers insurance, because of a federal law known as HIPAA: As a general matter, if there is no gap greater than 62 days in coverage between the end of existing health insurance and the start of new health insurance new coverage cannot add a pre-existing condition waiting period.
      • If you will lose your current insurance, you can purchase new health insurance through the marketplace because of the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare"). See: offsite link
    • If you do not have insurance: One of the options to get coverage is to look for an employer with health insurance without any, or with only a short, pre-existing condition waiting period. For additional information about obtaining health insurance, click here.
  • Physically, the only question about work is whether you can do the work now. What may happen to you is not relevant.
  • A prospective employer cannot ask about your health condition thanks to the Americans With Disabilities Act and similar laws. 
  • Experts counsel against telling about your health condition until you are offered a job.  Whether to tell after accepting the job is up to you. 
  • You may have to disclose your health condition if you will need an accommodation at work to allow you to take treatments.

For additional information about seeking employment, including how to act during the job interview, click here.