• Cirieco Design
  • Alzheimer's Association
  • World Radio Switzerland
When we heard about ESCA CancerSupport's new offerings, we caught up with them to find out more about the Work and Cancer coaching service and the heART Space.
Why did ESCA CS feel it was important to start Work and Cancer service?
The number of young people diagnosed with cancer is increasing and more and more people are confronted with the illness in their mid-career. The work place and the job can restore a sense of normality and stability, as well as contributing to financial independence. However, often cancer patients find working during treatments and/or returning to work after long-term sick leave, a struggle as they deal with cancer’s short- or longer-term side effects. With the continuous stigma surrounding cancer and illness in general, talking to managers, HR or colleagues can be difficult to manage. Experience shows that specialized support contributes significantly to reconciling work and cancer and reducing anxiety. 
Switzerland is home to many international companies with a workforce that may not always be able to access services in the national languages. Often people feel lonely and separated, outside of their native language environment, far from family and close support networks. In recent years, the requests ESCA CS have received around topics related to work and cancer have multiplied. 
What advantages does this bring to participants?
Individual coaching & mentoring: beneficiaries are patients & direct care givers.
  • personal development, skills building;
  • re-building confidence;
  • preparing / assisting in job / career continuation and/or re-entry and/or exit processes;
  • finding purpose, inner calling;
  • identifying inner blocks & emotions & driving behaviours.
ESCA CS involvement and accompaniment:
  • reconciliation of cancer and work during treatments is feasible and achievable;
  • a balanced return to work post treatment is accomplished by customizing the support based on the individuals’ needs and questions;
  • direct caregivers manage the dynamics at work more effective while taking care of the beloved one.
The coaching sessions will enable patients and caregivers finding their own solutions and approaches to issues and questions such as:
  • Will I continue to work?
  • Will my manager support me?
  • Am I still capable to do my job?
  • How do I tell my employer about my cancer?
  • What details do I need to share with my employer?
  • How do I talk to my manager and colleagues?
  • Can I be laid off because of my illness?
  • How can I ask for flexible work arrangements?
  • How do I manage the team while I am off on treatments?
  • Will I still be considered for the next promotion?
  • What is my purpose?
  • When should I return to work?
  • Should I change the direction of my career post-cancer?
How often do you work with participants and how long? 
In general, we offer up to six coaching sessions however we adjust to the needs of the person. We schedule times according to the person’s individual schedule and preferences. Some people would like to connect regularly, once a week or every two weeks, others have a preference for once a month. Most of the people prefer to connect via video conference, sometimes face to face.
What other programs are you considering and how can people volunteer to help out?
With Work and Cancer we’re developing workshops and information sessions that respond to the themes we see emerging in our support of people with cancer in the workplace. Our support of people with cancer includes many other services including counselling, emotional support groups, physical well-being groups such as yoga and pilates and other activities such as walk n talk and gardening. We have commenced a new monthly space called heART facilitated by an art therapist, which allows people to express themselves through creative means those things hard to put into words (no artistic skills required). While caregivers use our services, we’re nonetheless developing a specific service for them to cater for their unique set of needs.  Above all, ESCA CS provides a community spirit that is welcoming to all. Our services are in English and free of charge.  
The third Thursday of each month you can join this art studio experience for people diagnosed with cancer as well as direct caregivers. You don’t need to have artistic skills or background at all.
The group sessions will offer you an opportunity to explore a variety of art making materials; paint, pastels, pencils, collage, clay, among others. You will have opportunities for playfulness, exploration, relaxation, fun and to engage in mindful creative expression. Creative arts expression can be particularly helpful in communicating thoughts, feelings and concerns that may be difficult or inadequate to put into words.
For more information and to sign-up, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
*NEW* heART Space
The next workshop will be held on 17 November 2022. Check the links below for other dates.

2023 Steps for CancerSupport
Steps for CancerSupport is a fitness and fundraising challenge. Participants use the Pacer app to track their steps for 20 days to compete against others (4-23 May 2023), beat their own fitness goals, and raise money for ESCA CancerSupport. All proceeds allow ESCA CancerSupport to provide free support services to people affected by cancer in Switzerland.

Participants can fundraise by hosting an event, finding a personal sponsor, or simply encouraging friends and family to donate! Each participant will have access to a downloadable Fundraising Pack complete with ideas, tips, and graphics to share on social media. The top teams and individuals will be recognised on the Fundraisers Leaderboard on our donation page. Anyone who cannot participate can still help by making a donation. Support your favourite team or individual by mentioning them in the comments! Every participant pays a registration fee. There is no obligation to donate additional money but fundraising is encouraged! See link below.

ESCA CancerSupport Centre
Château du Grand-Saconnex
Chemin Auguste-Vilbert 14
1218 Le Grand-Saconnex