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Would Childhood Cancer Hurt My Hiring Chances?

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  • Would Childhood Cancer Hurt My Hiring Chances?

    I am 21, in excellent shape, and in excellent health. I am on the honor roll in college and compete in several sports. I have regular physicals and in the past 9 years have not had any health issues. I have no criminal record and have never used illegal drugs. I do not smoke or use alcohol. I lift weights and have done some competitive bodybuilding but train naturally and do not use any kind of performance enhacing drugs.

    About 10 years ago I had Hodgkin's lymphoma, a type of cancer. I was diagnosed at Stage II, received treatment, and have been cancer-free since then. After 10 years, the chances for someone like me to develop cancer again is no higher than for someone who never had cancer.

    I am interested in a law enforcement career after college. Would my past medical history lessen my chances of being hired? My strength coach is a police officer. I asked him his opinion and he did not think it would disqualify me but that I would have to disclose it and that could lessen my chances. I spoke to a USMC recruiter who said it would not matter for them but I'm wondering if law enforcement would be stricter than the military.

  • #2
    like anything else, it depends on the agency. when i was @20, i had NON-hodgkins lymphoma. i was given a clean bill of health like you were, but the NYPD told me to scratch my a s s .....probably because they have unlimited sick leave.

    all in all, being rejected by them is one of the best things that ever happened to me. I eventually got a job w/ the State Police, and now laugh at the nypd's decision.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by fingers View Post
      I am 21, in excellent shape, and in excellent health. I am on the honor roll in college and compete in several sports. I have regular physicals and in the past 9 years have not had any health issues. I have no criminal record and have never used illegal drugs. I do not smoke or use alcohol. I lift weights and have done some competitive bodybuilding but train naturally and do not use any kind of performance enhacing drugs.

      About 10 years ago I had Hodgkin's lymphoma, a type of cancer. I was diagnosed at Stage II, received treatment, and have been cancer-free since then. After 10 years, the chances for someone like me to develop cancer again is no higher than for someone who never had cancer.

      I am interested in a law enforcement career after college. Would my past medical history lessen my chances of being hired? My strength coach is a police officer. I asked him his opinion and he did not think it would disqualify me but that I would have to disclose it and that could lessen my chances. I spoke to a USMC recruiter who said it would not matter for them but I'm wondering if law enforcement would be stricter than the military.
      Medical standards will vary from agency to agency. That said, I feel fairly comfortable in saying it shouldn't be a problem. As long as you can pass the mandated Physical exam, PAT Test, etc, you should be okay.

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      • #4
        As everyone else has said, standards will vary from agency to agency.

        If you take a look at http://www.post.ca.gov/selection/pdf/Onco.pdf it will give you a feel for what departments consider when evaluating patients with a medical history of cancer. Given that the POST manual shows adult Hodgkin's as having an 80% survival rate and other medical literature shows a 94 to 96% survival rate when diagnosed in childhood, I suspect your DQ risks are minimal.
        Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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