Sharing a cancer diagnosis in the workplace

Aliya Hafeez, MD, an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and a breast cancer survivor, answers the question: “How much information should I share about my cancer diagnosis with coworkers?”

Her response: “It really depends on what your motivation in doing so would be. If it is for emotional support, then realize that not everyone is capable or in tune with their own fears of illness and especially cancer to ‘really’ be there for you.

“If you have shared personal information with particular co-workers whom you trust and feel are a positive support, then do so. If you feel that your work will be affected, and you want to warn your co-workers or will need their help, please realize some will be more willing than others.

“Your cancer diagnosis is YOUR business, and you are not obligated to tell anyone but your boss. And even your boss does not need more details than you are comfortable in giving.”

Reach Hafeez through Upstate Connect at 315-464-8668.

Listen to an interview with her.


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