Journal of Cancer Survivorship

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 87–95 | Cite as

Educational attainment among long-term survivors of cancer in childhood and adolescence: a Norwegian population-based cohort study

  • Sara GhaderiEmail author
  • Anders Engeland
  • Maria Winther Gunnes
  • Dag Moster
  • Ellen Ruud
  • Astri Syse
  • Finn Wesenberg
  • Tone Bjørge



The number of young cancer survivors has increased over the past few decades due to improvement in treatment regimens, and understanding of long-term effects among the survivors has become even more important. Educational achievements and choice of educational fields were explored here.


Five-year cancer survivors born in Norway during 1965–1985 (diagnosed <19 years) were included in our analysis by linking Norwegian population-based registries. Cox regression was applied to study the educational attainment among survivors of central nervous system (CNS) tumours, those assumed to have received CNS-directed therapy, and other cancer survivors relative to the cancer-free population. Logistic regression was used to compare the choice of educational fields between the cancer survivors at undergraduate and graduate level and the cancer-free population.


Overall, a lower proportion of the cancer survivors completed intermediate (67 vs. 70 %), undergraduate (31 vs. 35 %) and graduate education (7 vs. 9 %) compared with the cancer-free population. Deficits in completion of an educational level were mainly observed among survivors of CNS-tumours and those assumed to have received CNS-directed therapy. Choices of educational fields among cancer survivors were in general similar with the cancer-free population at both undergraduate and graduate levels.


Survivors of CNS-tumours and those assumed to have received CNS-directed therapy were at increased risk for educational impairments compared with the cancer-free population. Choices of educational fields were in general similar.

Implications for Cancer Survivors

Careful follow-up of the survivors of CNS-tumours and those assumed to have received CNS-directed therapy is important at each level of education.


Five-year cancer survivors Educational achievements Children Adolescents Childhood cancer Norway 



This study was supported by the Norwegian Cancer Society.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11764_2015_453_MOESM1_ESM.docx (14 kb)
Supplementary table I (DOCX 14 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sara Ghaderi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anders Engeland
    • 1
    • 2
  • Maria Winther Gunnes
    • 2
    • 3
  • Dag Moster
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Ellen Ruud
    • 4
  • Astri Syse
    • 5
  • Finn Wesenberg
    • 4
    • 6
    • 7
  • Tone Bjørge
    • 2
    • 7
  1. 1.Norwegian Institute of Public HealthBergenNorway
  2. 2.Department of Global Public Health and Primary CareUniversity of BergenBergenNorway
  3. 3.Department of PaediatricsHaukeland University HospitalBergenNorway
  4. 4.Department of Paediatric Medicine, Women and Children’s UnitOslo University HospitalOsloNorway
  5. 5.Department of ResearchStatistics NorwayOsloNorway
  6. 6.Faculty of MedicineUniversity of OsloOsloNorway
  7. 7.Cancer Registry of NorwayOsloNorway

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