Practical considerations for surgery


Cancer can affect your work, and you may need some time off due to treatments or symptoms (such as fatigue). Talk to your manager or HR (human resources) officer as early as possible. If you are having surgery, you will need to explain that you will need time off to recover and that this may be a few months.

In the UK, you are covered by legalisation that protects your rights at work. If you live in England, Scotland or Wales, the Equality Act 2010, and for Northern Ireland, the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) (as amended) protects you, even if you are self-employed or a carer.

It may be helpful to discuss with your doctor whether your treatments will affect your ability to work.

Finances and financial support

Having cancer may have an impact on your financial situation, especially if you are unable to work. It could be helpful to speak to a hospital or community social worker. They can assess your level of need, the needs of others in your household caring for you and your financial situation to see what help you are entitled to.

Citizens Advice can advise you about your financial situation, advise on what benefits may be available and suggest the next steps.

Macmillan Cancer Support also provide financial advice. You can call them on: 0808 808 00 00 or find more information here.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle

The fitter and healthier you are, the more likely it is that you will be able to cope with and recover from the treatments you are given.

There are things you can do to help:

  • If you smoke, consider quitting.
  • Keep active. Light exercise may help reduce fatigue and increase your appetite. It is also good for your mood. Taking short walks can be helpful.
  • A major problem faced by patients with pancreatic cancer can be weight loss, or inability to maintain weight. See our recipe book for meal ideas that help you maintain weight.

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Information Product № Published 15/04/2024
Last Updated 19/04/2024 Next Review Due 19/04/2027