Helping Children When A Family Member Has Cancer: Dealing With Treatment

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Helping Children When a Family Member Has Cancer: Dealing With Treatment

Explaining cancer treatment to children can be tough. When facing cancer, adults usually feel anxious and scared enough without worrying about how a child will react, too. A lot of progress is being made in cancer treatment, but a first response of fear and uncertainty is normal.

It’s very hard to keep a cancer diagnosis a secret for long. The challenge is fitting cancer and its treatment into a family’s everyday life. This includes helping children deal with the major changes it causes. Here we will try to share information that can help you help a child who knows and cares about someone with cancer.

If the person with cancer is a child or teen, you may want to read Children Diagnosed With Cancer: Dealing With Diagnosis. You can find it online at or call us for a copy.

This is one in a series of pieces covering topics to help children when someone in the family has cancer. The others cover diagnosis, recurrence, terminal illness, losing a parent, and psychosocial support services. For more on these and other topics, go to the “To learn more” section.

Last Medical Review: 01/29/2015
Last Revised: 04/27/2015