Three years cancer free and today I graduate with a Masters Degree

22 Mar 2024
Julia Banasiak graduated with a Masters Degree in Dental Public Health

It was an extra special day for twenty-four year old Julia Banasiak, one of 287 healthcare professionals who graduated from University College Cork this week. 

Julia is three years cancer free and this week celebrated with her family and friends having graduated with a Masters Degree in Dental Public Health.  

Today on Daffodil Day on Friday March 22nd, Julia wants to tell her story to raise awareness among young adults.

“Unfortunately cancer can happen to anyone of any age. It is so important to be aware of one’s body and check it regularly; when something feels off, take note of it and see your medical team. Always advocate for yourself, it might save your life”

Julia became immediately concerned and contacted her GP, after her mum first noticed a bump on the back of Julia’s right shoulder in May 2020.

The tumour was operated on and in October 2020 Julia received the devastating diagnosis of chondrosarcoma, a form of bone cancer.  

Julia underwent another two operations, including one where her shoulder was removed, before she got the all-clear in 2021.  

 Julia’s undergraduate degree, from UCC, was created by the Dental School as a non-clinical exit route from Dentistry which allowed her to receive a degree after three cancer surgeries left her unable to continue clinical dentistry.

“I have a passion for dental public health and public health so I am excited to continue my career in that direction”.   

Originally from Poland Julia moved to Limerick with her family 16 years ago and has been living in Cork since she joined UCC as a student of the Dental School and Hospital UCC in 2017.

Julia recently began working as a research assistant at the Health Implementation Research Hub at the School of Public Health UCC.  

“I am forever grateful to all the staff at the Dental School and  Hospital, the Oral Health Services Research Centre, and the School of Public Health for their support”.Student with daffodils

Professor Paula O’Leary, Dean of School of Medicine UCC congratulated all graduates at this year's Spring Conferring’s which saw students from the College of Medicine and Health graduate with Degrees, Masters and PhDs across a whole host of diverse specialist areas – medicine, clinical pharmacy, public health, sports and exercise medicine, nursing and midwifery, pharmaceutical technology and quality systems, older person rehabilitation, occupational health, surgical science including 100 students who graduated in paramedicine – 77 graduated with BSc in Paramedicine Studies and 23 postgraduates with MSc in Specialist Paramedic Practice.



College of Medicine and Health

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3rd Floor, Erinville Hospital, Western Road, University College Cork, T12 EKDO