Helping Children When a Family Member Has Cancer

This series of guides offers extensive information on helping children understand and deal with cancer in another family member.

Dealing with Diagnosis

Families with young children or teens may be concerned about how children will react to a diagnosis of cancer in a family member. Here we discuss how to help children understand and deal with a parent or close family member's cancer diagnosis.

Dealing with Treatment

Explaining cancer treatment to children can be a tough job, especially when you are already trying to deal with your own feelings and emotions. What you tell your children depends on many things, like their ages, personalities, and what you know about the treatment.

Dealing with Recurrence or Progressive Illness

For a person with cancer, one of the hardest things to go through is when the cancer keeps growing during treatment or comes back after treatment. It is hard for their loved ones, too, including children and teens. Here we will try to help you understand what your children might be thinking and feeling, and share some ideas on how you may be able to help them through this time.

Understanding Psychosocial Support Services

Cancer can affect the entire family -- both adults and children -- in many ways. Psychosocial support includes mental health counseling, education, group support, and many other such services. These services are usually provided by different types of mental health professionals. Here you can learn more about the psychosocial support services that may be available to you and your family.

Dealing with a Parent's Terminal Illness

All parents want to protect their children from the pain that life can bring. As hard as it might be to think about what children need during a terminal illness, we hope your burden will be eased in some way by taking steps to help them prepare and cope.

When a Child Has Lost a Parent

Children of all ages go through grief, sadness, and despair after the loss of a parent to cancer, even though the process might look different from that in adults. This short guide is offered to help you get started looking into deeper and ongoing resources to help a child who has lost a parent.