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Working in the NHS with Lymphoedema


Re: Working in the NHS with Lymphoedema

Hi Applecrumble

Thanks for posting.

Many people wonder if a previous cancer diagnosis or existing condition might impact on a job application. You may be aware that anyone with cancer is protected under the Equality Act (Disability Discrimination Act if you live in Northern Ireland), so cannot be discriminated against because of their cancer diagnosis.

Having lymphoedema or wearing a sleeve should not stop you from applying for or being successful in getting a job. It is important though to consider whether the role involves anything that might impact on this. Job offers are usually made pending health clearance, when any medical issues that may impact on the role would be highlighted.  You may prefer to keep your sleeve on so you can talk about this openly at the interview, but this really is a personal choice. 

This information about finding a new job includes when a potential employer can ask questions about your health.  It might help you prepare some responses should you be asked.

You could contact the Macmillan Work Support service for advice. You are also very welcome to call us and talk this through.

Do call our Helpline if you would like to talk this through or have any further questions. Your call will be confidential, and the number is free from UK landlines and all mobile networks.

The number is 0808 800 6000 (Text relay prefix 18001).

Our opening hours are Monday to Friday 9am - 4pm and 9am -1pm on Saturday. Out of hours you can leave a message and we will call you back when we next open.

I do hope the interview goes well.

Best wishes


Breast Cancer Now Nurse

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Working in the NHS with Lymphoedema



I had breast cancer 5 years ago. I am now fine and well but do have mild  Lymphoedema of my arm For which I wear a compression sleeve.

i have been offered an interview for an NHS job that I really want but I’m not sure where I stand with the Lymphedema. I put on the application that I was fit and well for the role which I believe I am but if I go wearing my sleeve will they think I can’t do the job? Can people wear Lymphoedema sleeves and continue to work in a caring role in the NHS? I’m not sure whether to raise the subject or not. Can you offer any advice please?