Breast cancer and return to work (RTW) is a global issue affected by many factors. The World Health Organization's International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) can be used to address disease/treatment, person and work related factors that can impact the RTW process for breast cancer survivors. The work environment, treatment and sociodemographic factors can affect the timeliness of RTW. While conventional treatment methods are critical for survival, there are other strategies that may provide comfort and relief that can improve functioning in the workplace. Although the number of studies addressing this is increasing, certain issues such as differences in RTW rates, RTW needs and accountability need further investigation. A thorough understanding of the independent and combined effects of disease/treatment, work and person related factors can assist in the appropriate implementation of RTW strategies for breast cancer survivors. For many breast cancer survivors, returning to work is used as a gauge of healing and control over breast cancer, providing encouragement for the future.