Adult survivors of pediatric cancer tend to have high levels of unemployment. The cause of unemployment can sometimes be health-related. Health-related causes of unemployment are commonly the result of late or long-term effects experienced by adult survivors of pediatric cancer. Some effects—for instance, problems with memory and attention, chronic fatigue and poor vision—can limit job opportunities for survivors. There are many resources to help you find a job that fits your needs and abilities.
- Americans with Disabilities Act
- Cancer and Careers
- Department of Labor One-stop Career Centers
- Job Accommodation Network
- National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS): Working It Out
If you need employment assistance, every state has a vocational rehabilitation agency. These agencies provide counseling, placement services and physical accommodations. Click here to find your state agency.
Once employed, cancer survivors are sometimes discriminated against because of their past medical history. Unfair treatment can take many forms and may include lower salary, lower insurance coverage, or being passed up for assignments for which you are well qualified. As a cancer survivor it is essential that you know your rights and learn to advocate for yourself. Being a self advocate means being educated about your cancer, its late effects, and relevant social issues, as well as knowing how to educate others about these topics. Use the resources below to take the first step in learning how to become a self advocate.
- American Disability Association: Disability Rights Guide
- Children's Cause: Rise to Action
- Disability Rights Legal Center: Cancer Legal Resource Center
- National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship: Self Advocacy: A Cancer Survivor's Handbook
As an adult survivor of pediatric cancer, you have had unique experiences that can be valuable to others, including active and post-treatment survivors and their loved ones, policy makers, and individuals at risk for cancer. The organizations below offer great opportunities for cancer survivors to get involved and give back. Hospitals and cancer centers in your community may also offer volunteer opportunities.