Cancer and work

30 October 2015

Talking about a cancer diagnosis in the workplace – whether it affects you or an employee – can be particularly difficult. Here are some pointers that could help.

Photo of a couple of friends having a coffee.

Dealing with a diagnosis at work

For a lot of people, telling their boss that they have cancer isn’t easy, as they may be worried about the reaction and the impact that their treatment may have on work. So if you can be supportive and reassuring, that will be an excellent first step. Remember that people with cancer are protected from discrimination by the Equality Act 20101, and that you should make reasonable adjustments to remove any substantial disadvantage to your staff member as a result of their condition. Macmillan has more advice.

Our promise to you and your staff

Bupa believes in offering you the same level of cancer cover, whether you have cover as an individual or as part of a company scheme. Where cancer is covered as part of your core health insurance, there are no time limits and all your eligible cancer treatment costs are paid in full, when you use a healthcare facility from your chosen Bupa network and a Bupa recognised consultant who agrees to charge within Bupa limits (a fee assured consultant).

From day one, we’ll provide cover and support to the person affected and their family, including palliative treatment if the cancer becomes untreatable.

New for October: breast and bowel self referral

Our new Breast and Bowel Self Referral Team, is a telephoned-based team of experienced advisors and oncology nurse specialists. If you suspect you have symptoms of breast of bowel cancer, call them on 0800 012 1305^. No GP referral is required. You can explain your symptoms to the advisor, who will either refer you to a specialist for tests or advise that you see your GP – in accordance with National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines. Customers who have been advised to see their GP will be offered a 2 week call back by the advisor for further support.

Symptoms of breast cancer can include a lump or thickening in your breast, a change in the size, shape or feel of your breast, dimpling of the skin, or a rash or discharge from your nipple2.

Symptoms of bowel cancer can include blood in your faeces and persistent changes to your bowel habits that go on for more than several weeks3.

(This isn't an exhaustive list of symptoms and is simply a guide. If you notice anything unusual for you, speak to your GP.)

More information

If you or your team have any questions relating to your Bupa cover and cancer, call 0808 273 6216^ or visit /health-information/directory/c/cancer-work

^ In the interest of continuously improving our services to members, we may record or monitor our calls.

What's next?

^ Lines are open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. We may record or monitor our calls.