Life after cancer: Transforming the post-treatment experience

Practical challenges of living with cancer 

Once they are discharged from cancer care, many people might assume the hardest part is behind them. But as they look ahead to what comes next, there are a lot of tough questions to ask:

  • Can I return to work or school as if nothing has happened? Or will I need accommodations to help me ease back into things?
  • What about the bills that may have piled up when I was receiving treatment? How can I settle those?
  • Will I qualify for health insurance post-cancer?

These are just a few of the practical, day-to-day concerns people are faced with months or even years after completing cancer treatment. These challenges are especially pronounced for people facing systemic barriers to accessing health and social services, including:

To help people living with cancer manage their practical challenges, the Partnership has funded and supported programs in two key areas:

Community supports- survivorship

Finding supports in the community

Once they leave the cancer system, people are often left to fend for themselves to find the support they need. Fortunately, programs and services are available in primary and community care centres — as well as from organizations that help people living with cancer figure out where to turn for assistance.

Returning to work- survivorship

Returning to the workplace

Returning to or looking for work after cancer treatment isn’t easy. Schedules may have to be adjusted. Roles may need to be changed. But if the right resources and supports are easily available, employees, employers and primary care providers can work together to facilitate a smooth transition back into the workforce.

  1. Canadian Partnership Against Cancer. Living with cancer: A report on the cancer experience [Internet]. The Partnership; 2018 [cited 2024 Jan 25]. Available from: