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Young Adults with Melanoma
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Melenoma and Work


I'm a 23 year old. In 2015 I had a malignant melenoma mole removed from my eyebrow; now, almost 3 years later I was diagnosed with mestatic melenoma now in my parotid gland. I just graduated with my bachelor's degree and am looking to start my career, but I am now also starting my treatment.

I'm wondering how people have dealt with work, either continuing or looking for work, and their treatment. Has your treatment/side-effects effected your work? Has anyone moved or changed jobs while going through treatment?

2 Replies

Firstly I will be praying for your healing. I was first Diagnosed with cancer 26 Days after starting a new career. My job was protected under FMLA. I was out of work for approximately 3months for surgery and chemo. I've been very lucky to have a very flexible employer. I currently work 40+ hours a week and sometimes take multiple days off for treatment related appointments. I'm able to make up those hours missed by working late on other days and weekends.

The most difficult part is not over doing it. Trying to keep up with bills and work and still having the energy to make it through the day.

I work for a family owned business so I am able to have that flexiblity. I'm not sure if I worked for a larger corperation how that would work. But I know that there are laws to protect your employment. I wouldn't mention anything about it during an interview. I would be afraid that there would be a bias there.


Sending warm thoughts your way. And Congratulations on your bachelors!

My treatment has been surgery, skin checks, and a few more mole removals but I began looking for jobs 3 days before I knew I needed a surgery and started a job about 1.5 months after my surgery and knew I had follow ups (including some for other medical conditions).

My current director doesn’t know about my melanoma per say, but I am upfront when I need time off and he’s been great working around my schedule. I work for a large multi-state corporation and was previously working for a non-profit - both great and understanding with my medical needs.

Research the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Short Term Disability (STD) for the companies you’re applying to - depending on when your benefits kick in (30 or 60 days sometimes more) and whichever is appropriate, apply for the coverage (HR will be able to help). It keeps you covered and your job safe.

Most employers want the best for their employees and thankfully there are laws that help protect you.

Best wishes ✨


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