Help! Can you get a job after( or with) BC?

Hi everyone
I’m about to be made redundant, and just went for a job interview that I am well qualified to do (and experienced). I look after nuns with dementia, and this new job was for an activities organiser in a rest home. I have a first class music degree, care training and experience, and have organised activities at current job. Am pretty sure am not gonna get job. I’m 56 and had BC diagnosed 2 yrs ago. Have been back at my current job for over a year with no problems, but am beginning to wonder if anyone will give me a job (however menial!)

Anyone else have problems seeking work?

Sorry to hear about your dilemma Moley. I would suggest that you just mention at the next interview that you had BC, but are now fine. I did the same some years back, just mentioned it at the end of the interview and said that I was fine, but just had to be a bit careful with lifting etc. because of lymphoedema risk. They were fine and I got the job. If you think you are well enough and fit enough to do the job, there should be no reason why you should not get this job. Good luck.


You’re covered under the Disability Discrimination Act so (technically!) an employer can’t discriminate against you because you’ve had breast cancer.

BCC have launched their EMPLOY charter which might be of interest to you or google ‘pointofdiagnosis’ which will give you quite a bit of info.

You only disclose your medical history on the Occupational health forms given to you, usually after successful interview. It will not affect whether you get the job or not. I applied for a post whilst on sick leave last year (at the end of my treatment), got the job, went back to my my original post and handed in my notice. I have been in my new post for 3 months and have no regrets. Good luck.

I was going to say what others have said. Your medical history is confidential and should not be brought up at interview. Often, employers will ask if there is anything medically wrong with you that could affect this job, but they shouldn’t do, just like they are not allowed to ask about family committments etc. I would say nothing at the interview - its not like you are in the middle of treatment. Be truthful on your medical history form. Occupational health are normally very sensible about issues like this and it shouldnt affect your chances at all.

Good luck


Thank you everyone.
I’ve just been looking at EMPLOY - good stuff! Glad to hear positive stories. And to Kate - the health form was attached to application form which I had to fill in just B4 interview. Hence interviewer read all about my health at the inteview!

PS Just read your post Cathy. Interesting what you say about confidentiality of medical history - perhaps I could get 'em under Disability Discrimination Act!

If you don’t get the job, you have the right to ask why, and if BC is mentioned you have them under DDA. Go to CAB for advice…

Best of luck to you

Thank you Westside Sue
I have a horrible feeling that, if it was cos of BC, they would cover that up and say someone else had ‘more experience’ or some other excuse. But I will ask!

xxx to you and everyone

I would love to say that your previous medical history will not prevent you getting a job - and as others have said technically under the law an employer cannot discriminate on these grounds - but I do understand where you are coming from on this point. I was just discussing it with my work mates during the week - our company is currently looking to trim some costs and there are possible pay-offs pending, my won job is safe for the moment but I am not certain that months down the line my dept may be trimmed and my job may be under treat too and I would question my chances of getting another job easily so soon after my treatment.

If you are not successful in getting the job you have been interviewed for then do ask what their reasons were - as you say they may well say it is because someone else was better qualified , had more experience or was more likely to fit in to the exisiting team than you … but at least you will have asked the question.

I hope you are successful and get the job and good luck.

Hi Moley

I have managed to move job whilst in the middle of rads. I made it clear at the interview that I was getting rads and about the sick time I had. I also made them aware that I was otherwise well and not expecting to have any other problems. As far as I know they cannot turn you down on this. I had to go for an occupational health assesment prior to starting and after talking to the nurse she said that I was fit to work and had no problem with me getting offered the job. Hope this helps. Good luck in your search
x x

I got a new job in the middle of my Herceptin treatment, but I left after a month because the employer agreed to have a training and support package in place for me which didn’t materialise and the whole episode undermined my confidence so much I am now having counselling. I went through the grievance procedure with them and they said as far as they were concerned they acted within the law by allowing me to attend oncology appointments and treatments.

However, it gave me the push I needed to become self employed and I’m now retraining, studying and working with my OH in his web development business. I was unemployed and jobhunting when I was diagnosed and I think I had to prove to myself that someone would employ me post BC. Unfortunately I picked the wrong employers!

Oh Cherub, what a shame, it’s their loss. You sound like you’re all sorted now though. Well done.

Thank you girls.

What a lovely name Lilacblushes! Yeh technically employers can’t discriminate, but I’ll wait and see - and keep you posted

Unfortunately, Rarebird, this job I’ve applied for doesn’t have an occupational health dept - just one person (the manageress) making the decisions. I’m applying to the NHS too though, and hop they’ll be enlightened on BC!

Sorry to hear about your bad experience, Cherub, and glad to hear you are going down the self-employment root. I am wondering about doing this myself, as I am sick of bosses. Self-employment is more empowering I reckon.