Cancer develops when cells in a part of the body begin to grow out of control. Although there are many kinds of cancer, they all start because of out-of-control growth of abnormal cells. Normal body cells grow, divide, and die in an orderly fashion. During the early years of a person's life, normal cells divide more rapidly until the person becomes an adult. After that, cells in most parts of the body divide only to replace worn-out or dying cells and to repair injuries.
Because cancer cells continue to grow and divide, they are different from normal cells. Instead of dying, they outlive normal cells and continue to form new abnormal cells. Cancer cells often travel to other parts of the body where they begin to grow and replace normal tissue.
To accommodate employees with cancer, consider the following questions:
- What limitations is the employee with cancer experiencing?
- How do these limitations affect the employee and the employee’s job performance?
- What specific job tasks are problematic as a result of these limitations?
- What accommodations are available to reduce or eliminate these problems? Are all possible resources being used to determine possible accommodations?
- Has the employee with cancer been consulted regarding possible accommodations?
- Once accommodations are in place, would it be useful to meet with the employee with cancer to evaluate the effectiveness of the accommodations and to determine whether additional accommodations are needed?
- Do supervisory personnel and employees need training regarding cancer?
Situation and Solution: A lawyer with cancer was experiencing lapses in concentration due to the medication she was taking in preparation for chemotherapy. Her employer accommodated her with a reminder clock, written instructions, and a programmable timer that reminded her at intervals to focus.
Note: Link to AskJAN for more information about Cancer.
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