National Cancer and Work Day
November 2, 2020

The 2nd edition of the National Cancer and Work Day (NCWD) will take place on Tuesday afternoon on November 10th. A virtual event, especially for employees, freelancers and employers. The NCWD is Organized by and for practitioners. The theme of the day is “Cancer and Work: what is possible?”

An unknown world

Every day about 150-175 workers in the Netherlands tell their supervisor that they have been diagnosed with cancer. Many employers will have to deal with this sooner or later. The emotional and physical impact of cancer and its treatments is huge and requires efforts from the employee and employer to understand the impact. Fortunately, people live longer with or after cancer thanks to improved treatments. A large proportion of the people are able to stay in work or return to work after a period of absence. This is important because work is an essential part of our lives. Work provides structure, purpose and provides distraction and social contacts.

Employees, freelancers and employers

Employers play an important role in counselling employees with cancer. They are in direct contact with the employee and are in a position to adapt the work of the employee and manage the expectations towards colleagues. This enables them to prevent further social and economic damage to the employee and the organization. For employees and self-employed persons with (and after) cancer, it is important to understand the situation and need for possibilities to continue working and to return after the illness in a way that suits the employee and employer.

The National Cancer and Work Day

This day offers all parties concrete tools to enable job retention after a cancer diagnosis. The interactive and practice-driven program has been set up in collaboration with, among others, VNO-NCW, ZZP Nederland and NFK. Experts and patients provide knowledge about the course of the disease, the challenges faced when returning to work, and what potential solutions look like. For more information visit The spoken language is Dutch.

More information

Sabine Wernars and Saskia Koopmans, both Patient advocates with Inspire2Live were at the forefront of this National Cancer and Work Day. Sabine is now continuing this with a number of other professionals. This year, Sabine invited her colleague Patient advocate, Joliene Munier to share her experience with work-related topics and challenges after she was diagnosed with cancer during this day. These two patient advocates from Inspire2Live show that because they met each other through the channels of Inspire2Live, they are already working together for the second time. Joliene previously wrote an article for the magazine for breast cancer patients that is made by Sabine Wernars.

Sabine Wernars and Joliene Munier
Patient Advocates Inspire2Live