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Prostate Cancer
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Returning to Work After Prostate Cancer Treatment

Since the date of your diagnosis with prostate cancer, you have probably been looking forward to getting back to your "normal" life. This disease may have dominated your life for so long that it can take some time to get back into your regular routine after treatment is complete. Give yourself the time you need to adjust to life after prostate cancer. For some people, returning to work is a top priority, even a necessity after treatment ends. Others choose not to return to their jobs because they feel physically unable to do so.

If you wish to return to work, understand that certain treatments require different recovery periods, some lasting a few days, while others can last for several weeks. The more invasive the procedure, the longer you should wait to return to work. After brachytherapy, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, and chemotherapy you should be able to return to work right away. However, the speed of recovery is dependant on side effects and whether you feel you are able to tackle the tasks of your job. After cryotherapy you should plan to relax for the first five days and then slightly increase your activity level. Postpone returning to work until at least two weeks following the procedure. After prostatectomy, take it easy for the first few weeks. Do not lift anything over 10 pounds or engage in any strenuous activity, as this could cause serious, long-term complications. If you have a desk job, you should be able to return to work after three to four weeks. If you have a job that is physically challenging, your recovery period should last longer.

Work relationships may change after prostate cancer treatment. Your employer may not know whether you are able to perform the same duties to the same capacity that you did prior to receiving treatment. Nonetheless, research proves that prostate cancer survivors who return to work are as productive on the job as other workers. Coworkers may initially seem uncomfortable around you. They may want to show their support but not know how. You may prefer not to discuss your illness with them or you may want share your experiences and answer any questions they may have. It is up to you to decide what information you want to reveal to your coworkers.

Most prostate cancer survivors who are physically able to carry out their job do return to work. Returning to work can help you feel like you are regaining control and getting back to the life that existed before being diagnosed with cancer. Understand that your physician cannot dictate your recovery time, everyone reacts differently to treatment and you should return to work only when you feel ready.


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