A HUDDERSFIELD woman back at work after treatment for breast cancer is backing a new campaign that aims to improve the working lives of employees with cancer.
CancerBacup, an information service campaigning to improve the working lives of employees, is winning support in West Yorkshire
Maureen Beecham, 48, is a customer adviser for the Abbey bank.
She was diagnosed with cancer in January, 2003.
She had surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy and returned to work in January, 2004, two months after treatment finished.
She needed more time off after a car accident in 2004 and has recently returned to work for the second time.
She says the support of her employer was vital in enabling her to get back to work.
Maureen said: "I know from personal experience the importance that information, support, understanding and flexibility provide when it comes to dealing with work and cancer.
"Organisations should act on CancerBacup's recommendations to make sure people diagnosed with this disease have the best possible chance of continuing to do their jobs if they wish to," she added.
"Not only is this crucial for the individual, but in the long run this can only be of benefit to employers too."
Joanne Rule, CancerBacup's chief executive, said: "Flexible working, return to work policies and the provision of high-quality information and support must be enshrined in organisational policy and championed by senior managers.
"Employers who ignore this advice will miss out on a wealth of knowledge and skills.
"In an age when increasing numbers of people are being cured of cancer or living with it, the impact on business is only likely to increase."
* CancerBacup was founded in 1984. Its new information booklet, Work and Cancer, is available free from 0808 800 1234. The information can also be found at www.cancerbacup.org.uk