Step 2: Select the Limitation
Cancer is a group of many related diseases. All forms of cancer involve out-of-control growth of abnormal cells. Normal body cells grow, divide, and die in an orderly fashion. Cancer cells, however, continue to grow and divide, spreading to other parts of the body and accumulating to form tumors that destroy normal tissue. If cells break away, they can travel through the bloodstream or the lymph system to other areas of the body where they may settle and form "colony" tumors. In their new location, the cancer cells continue growing and spread to a new site, metastasis. When cancer spreads it is still named after the part of the body where it started. Different types of cancer vary in their rates of growth, patterns of spread, and responses to different types of treatment.
Treatment options may include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and immunotherapy. Surgery is the oldest form of cancer treatment; sixty percent of people with cancer will have surgery. Radiation therapy uses high-energy waves, such as x-rays or gamma rays, to destroy cancer cells. Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to treat cancer. Systemic chemotherapy uses anticancer drugs that are usually given into a vein or by mouth to enter the bloodstream and reach all areas of the body. Hormone therapy is treatment with hormones, drugs that interfere with hormone production. Immunotherapy is the use of treatments that promote or support the body's immune system response to a disease such as cancer.
Because of the variation in types of cancers, treatments for cancers, and the responses of individuals to cancer, limitations of individuals with cancer vary. Some individuals may not need an accommodation, while other may need only one or two.
Accommodations are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. We have compiled a non-inclusive list of limitations that result in common accommodation situations. In addition, you can find more information at JAN's A to Z Web page at: http://www.jan.wvu.edu/media/atoz.htm.
- Individual experiences fatigue and weakness.
- Individual needs medical treatment allowances.
- Individual has respiratory difficulties.
- Individual has difficulty dealing with stress.