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70

NCCN Guidelines for Patients

®

Adolescents and Young Adults with Cancer, Version 1.2017

8

Moving beyond treatment

What is a survivorship care plan?

If you feel that letting coworkers know you are

recovering from cancer treatment will be helpful, tell

them. The choice is up to you.

That being said, you can talk to your employer if you

need to adjust things at work because of ongoing side

effects. Under Federal law, employers are required

to make reasonable accommodation to help you do

your job during or after cancer treatment. Reasonable

accommodation is loosely defined as changes in work

arrangements (schedule, office location, etc.) that

will allow a qualified person to continue to do his or

her job without causing a significant hardship for the

employer.

In your relationship

Sex has a way of falling by the wayside when you’re

being treated for cancer. Sexual side effects such

as reduced libido (interest in sex), vaginal dryness,

and difficulties getting or maintaining an erection can

happen. Physical effects such as hair loss or scarring

can leave cancer patients feeling damaged and

undesirable. So even if you have a supportive partner,

it may take a little time to re-create a comfortable

sexual intimacy once treatment is over. And if

you’re single, re-entering the dating world can feel

overwhelming.

Getting back in touch with your sexual self is a

process. Physical problems can often be helped with

medication. Emotional barriers such as fragile self-

esteem can be overcome by being open and honest

with your partner so you can both work through your

concerns about sex after treatment.

If you’re currently single, try not to put too much

pressure on yourself to date. Give yourself space

and time to figure out what you want in a relationship.

When you do start dating, wait until you have a sense

of trust and connection with the other person before

telling him or her about your cancer.

For more on sexual issues during survivorship:

See the American Cancer Society’s Web pages

on Sexuality for the Woman With Cancer at:

www. cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/ physicalsideeffects/sexualsideeffectsinwomen/ sexualityforthewoman/sexuality-for-women-with- cancer-cancer-sex-sexuality

And Sexuality for the Man With Cancer at:

www. cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/ physicalsideeffects/sexualsideeffectsinmen/ sexualityfortheman/sexuality-for-men-with-cancer- intro

For more information on

laws related to survivorship

and the workplace:

††

Visit the Disability Rights Legal

Center (DRLC) at

https:// disabilityrightslegalcenter.org/

or Cancer and Careers at

www. cancerandcareers.org/en/at-work/Back- to-Work-After-Cancer.

Both sites include a wealth of information on

getting back to work after cancer treatment.

You will also find current information on legal

and insurance issues.