Education, training and employment

Having cancer early in your adult life can be very difficult to deal with. As well as your illness and the effects of treatment, you may be facing disruption at college, university or work. Your career prospects may look very different from what you’d imagined.

You may worry about the future or lose confidence. However there's lots of support available to help get you back on track. Many careers are flexible enough to allow you to put things on hold for a while, or completely change direction.

Your care team can listen to your concerns, look through options with you and support you when you discuss potential adjustments with your college or employer.

Your rights

You may not think of yourself as having a disability. But as someone with cancer, you automatically meet the legal definition of 'disabled' from the day you're diagnosed. This is stated in the Equality Act 2010.

At every level of education or work, you’re legally protected against discrimination.

Reasonable adjustments

Colleges, universities and employers must also make 'reasonable adjustments' so you aren’t disadvantaged. This means they have a legal duty to make changes to help you study and work.

These pages give examples of adjustments that can be made for young people with cancer. There is also information on the processes of requesting help and who to speak to about getting it.

Remember that, as someone living with cancer, you've got rights and you’re entitled to support. This applies from when you’re first diagnosed to if you need time off or when you return to education, training or work.

Last reviewed: November 2015
Next planned review: December 2016