Declaring you have been treated for BC in job interviews

Declaring you have been treated for BC in job interviews

Declaring you have been treated for BC in job interviews Hi Ladies

Hope you are all doing well. I was wondering what your views were on whether you should declare you have been treated for BC in job interviews.

I’m about to apply for my dream job and was wondering whether I should say anything or not as its now such a big part of my life and who I am whether I like it or not. Also, does anyone know if there is any legislation around this?

Your views would be welcome.

Thank you.


Medical questionnaires You don’t have to declare you’ve had breast cancer BUT if you are asked for example on an application form for how many days you had taken off sick in the last year and you lied then an employer could take action against you. In many jobs (certainly in the public sector about which I know most) after a job offer has been you may have to fill in a medical questionnaire and on that yes you would have to declare cancer. If however an employer subsequently changed their job offer solely because of your declaration that would count as discrimination under the Disability Discrimination Act. The medical questionairre should be confidential between you and the occupational health dept of the organisation and your line manager shouldn’t automatically be told. It should only become an issue if occupational health decide you’re not fit for the job (which is the purpose of the medical questionnaire.)

If you decide to declare breast cancer without being asked in an interview or job application form then it can be very hard to prove whether your cancer was a factor if you don’t get the job.

I’ve had one job interview since getting cancer and I was very open on the application form (because of the question about how many days I’d had off sick in th past year…the answer being most of them!) I got the job but it was a very part time job and not a dream job at all.

Hope you get the job of your dreams.


I have concerns about this too as I was unemployed and attending interviews when I was diagnosed last October. I hope to start jobhunting again after I finish Taxotere in June, but I have a year of Herceptin on top of this, so won’t be finished treatment until June 2008. I feel I will have to be honest with agencies and prospective employers about this. At the time of my diagnosis OH had just started a business and a lot of his plans had to go on hold; he has now picked up the threads but it is not earning a proper income yet. I don’t get benefits as I had to take time out of work to look after my late father. We are currently keeping ourselves afloat on savings, so I need to return to work (I also want to go back to work). Feels like I have been penalised for having to take on the role of carer, then again for getting BC!

Whilst I know there is legislation in place against discrimination, I worked for a few large companies when we lived in London before moving to Scotland. It was my experience that if employers could find a loophole they would use it (one company I worked for would make women redundant a couple of weeks after they came back from maternity leave for instance).

It is the one area of my life I don’t feel very positive about tbh.

First of all Hi…it’s been a while since I posted.
This is not easy is it? My employment was terminated after I was diagnosed…long story but it ended with a tribunal, and I settled. The Disability Rights people where great.

Anyhow, when it came to applying for other jobs I was in a quandry. My other half thought I should say nothing but as I still have, for instance, annual checkups I felt it would be a bit dificult to say nothing and then have to have time off for it. It’s not like saying, 'oh I have to see the doc about my flu!

However, what I did do was be honest about the date I ‘left’ my job on any application and, unless asked about time off said nothing until I got to interview. At least I got my foot in the door. When they asked what I’d been doing then I told them.

It has to be said, I went for 7 interviews and didn’t get the job and frankly I’ll never know if that was the reason, even if I suspect it was. But I decided to wait for the right one, and I am now in my 4th week at a doctors surgery where I work as a receptionist just a 10 minute walk from home. It’s tiring at the moment, but I think I’ll get used to it and the hours are variable. Ironically this was the one place that did ask about medical issues and they still offered me the job, so I guess it’s worth persevering.

Keep at it and good luck.

Caz xxx

My employer who I have been with for just over a year, offered me my job (dental receptionist) knowing that I had just finished treatment but was also trying to get Herceptin funded. Clearly if I got it funded it would mean time off work.

They took me on anyway and worked around my Herceptin appointments, it really didnt cause huge disruption.

They have even been accomodating enough to let me reduce my hours, even tho I have now completed all treatment, because I dont want to be at work all day - I have a house and family to look after (and fun to have) and the money just isnt everything.

Always worth telling prosepctive employers, if they dont want you because of it then you probably dont want to work for them anyway.

Steph x