How Your Education Can Be Affected By Cancer

Many young people who have had cancer have missed out on or put on hold opportunities to attend university or achieve higher education. There are a number of issues that you may face when having to change your routines to accommodate your cancer treatment and journey. You may take time out and return to find new classmates or find old friends have moved on. Your body confidence may also be low as a result of treatment due to changes in your weight, general appearance and hair loss. It’s hard for anyone to go into a new or unfamiliar environment, especially if you aren’t feeling your best.

Practical issues such as needing extra assistance or time to complete your education may also come up. You may also have physical limitations or memory and concentration problems as a result of your treatments and need these to be recognized and supported as you go back to school. Your cancer experience may also make you rethink what further training you want to undertake or complete.

What this section will include

We will be looking at issues surrounding secondary education and completing high school, transitioning into tertiary education and looking at entering or going back to university or higher level education or training. We will give you practical tips for how to get any extra assistance you require and to manage your own expectations and those of others when looking to resume or enter classes and courses.


There is no doubt that if I had not had cancer I would not be where I am today. During my treatment I was particularly inspired by my haematologist and my GP, and so by the end of my history degree in 2006 I had already started thinking about the possibility of studying medicine. I was put off for a while due to fear of debt, time and generally knowing very little about science, but after plucking up the courage to ask family, friends and the people that treated me, everybody said ‘go for it!’ I finished six years of medical school in the summer of 2014 and soon after began working as an Academic Foundation Doctor in the Oxford deanery.


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