- Children Diagnosed With Cancer: Dealing With Diagnosis
- When a child has cancer, it’s a crisis for the whole family.
- How do parents usually react to a child’s cancer diagnosis?
- Ways to improve coping
- How can parents be sure their child gets the best treatment?
- What if parents want a second opinion?
- How do children with cancer and their siblings react to a cancer diagnosis?
- What helps kids with cancer and their brothers and sisters?
- Keeping up with schoolwork during a child’s illness
- Will the child and family ever return to normal after a cancer diagnosis?
- To learn more
To learn more
More information from your American Cancer Society
Here’s some related information that may also be helpful to you. These materials may be ordered from our toll-free number, 1-800-227-2345, and most can be read on our website, www.cancer.org.
Getting ready for treatment
After Diagnosis: A Guide for Patients and Families (also in Spanish)
Children Diagnosed With Cancer: Understanding the Health Care System (also in Spanish)
Nutrition for Children With Cancer (also in Spanish)
We also have detailed information available about most types of childhood cancer. Call us or check our website.
A Guide to Cancer Surgery (also in Spanish)
A Guide to Chemotherapy (also in Spanish)
Understanding Radiation Therapy (also in Spanish)
Coping and emotions
Anxiety, Fear, and Depression (also in Spanish)
What Happened to You, Happened to Me (booklet for kids and teens with cancer)
When Your Brother or Sister Has Cancer (booklet for siblings aged 11-14 of a child with cancer)
When Your Child’s Treatment Ends: A Guide for Families (booklet for families)
Books from your American Cancer Society
Your American Cancer Society also has books that you might find helpful. Call us at 1-800-227-2345 or visit our bookstore online at www.cancer.org/bookstore to find out about costs or to place an order.
Angels & Monsters: A Child’s Eye View of Cancer (for adults and teens)
Jacob Has Cancer: His Friends Want to Help (coloring book for an elementary school child whose friend has cancer)
Imagine What’s Possible: Use the Power of Your Mind to Take Control of Your Life During Cancer (visualization techniques for children with cancer in grades 4 through 7)
Because...Someone I Love Has Cancer: A Kids’ Activity Book (best for children ages 5 to 10 who have a loved one with cancer)
Cancer Caregiving A to Z (for adults taking care of someone with cancer at home)
National organizations and websites*
Along with the American Cancer Society, other sources of information and support include:
American Childhood Cancer Organization (ACCO)
Toll-free number: 1-855-858-2226
Website offers support for families of children with cancer, including the child and siblings as well as parent support groups, insurance and legal advice, and long-term/follow-up information. Also has books for children, caregivers, and teachers.
CureSearch for Children’s Cancer
Toll-free number: 1-800-458-6223
Provides up-to-date information about childhood cancer from pediatric cancer experts. Has sections on the website for patients, families, and friends to help guide them on how to support the child with cancer. Also has long-term follow-up guidelines for young cancer survivors at www.survivorshipguidelines.org. These guidelines provide recommendations for screening and management of late effects from pediatric cancer treatments.
National Cancer Institute
Toll-free number: 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237)
Provides accurate, up-to-date information about cancer for patients and their families, including clinical trials information. Offers a special booklet for teen siblings of a child with cancer at: www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/when-your-sibling-has-cancer
Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC)
Provides low-cost or no-cost temporary lodging for families of seriously ill children being treated away from home. Must be referred by medical staff or social workers from the child’s treatment center.
Hair Club for Kids
Toll-free number: 1-800-269-7384 (If you reach voicemail, leave a message for a return call.)
Offers free hair restoration services to children ages 6 through 17 who have hair loss due to cancer treatments. The hair system is a non-surgical hair replacement method that uses human or synthetic hair applied to a nylon mesh, which is put on the scalp using a medical grade adhesive tape. With this application method a child is able to swim and play sports, for instance, without removing the prosthesis.
National Children’s Cancer Society, Inc. (NCCS)
Toll-free number: 1-800-5-FAMILY (1-800-532-6459)
Services include an online support network for parents of children with cancer, educational materials, and financial assistance for treatment-related expenses.
Toll-free number: 1-855-220-7777
Offers information on having children in the future to cancer patients whose medical treatments cause the risk of infertility. Those who meet financial and other requirements may also qualify for discounted fertility services.
Offers free, secure, personal websites that help you stay connected to family and friends during illness, treatment, and recovery; lets patients and caregivers keep loved ones informed.
National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD)
Toll-free number: 1-800-999-6673
A group of more than 2,000 non-profit voluntary health organizations serving adults and children with rare “orphan” disorders. NORD keeps data on resources and refers to organizations only (they do not refer people to healthcare providers or treatment facilities).
For teens and children
Starlight Children’s Foundation
Toll-free number: 1-800-315-2580
Website has animated stories and interactive programs to teach kids and teens about chemo and procedures that may be done in the hospital; also provides a safe, monitored online support group for teens with cancer.
2bMe is part of Look Good...Feel Better for Teens. For those aged 13 through 17, it gives both guys and girls information on a many appearance-related, social, and nutritional side effects of treatment.
Group Loop (a subsite of the Cancer Support Community for teens and their parents)
Toll-free number: 1-888-793-9355
An online place for teens with cancer or teens who know someone with cancer to connect with other teens away from the pressures of classes, responsibilities, and treatment schedules. Group Loop has online support groups, chat rooms, information, and more.
An online-only resource designed to help kids, from ages 5 to 11, learn about cancer in a fun and interactive manner. Also has Parents’ Pages.
Cancer Really Sucks
An internet-only resource designed FOR teens BY teens who have loved ones facing cancer. Has answers and coping strategies to help deal with the emotions linked to a cancer diagnosis; “Q&A with a Cancer Survivor” online chats; and offers a monitored, safe format for teens to post stories about their situations and ask other teens questions.
Teens Living with Cancer
An online-only resource dedicated to teens coping with a cancer diagnosis and treatment. It focuses on teen issues and provides resources to support teens, their families, and friends.
SuperSibs! powered by Alex’s Lemonade Stand
Toll-free number: 1-866-333-1213
Serves and supports 4- to 18-year-old brothers and sisters of children diagnosed with cancer so they may face the future with strength, courage, and hope. Alex’s Lemonade Stand is restarting SuperSibs in 2014 so there may be some delays with resuming support services.
No matter who you are, we can help. Contact us anytime, day or night, for information and support. Call us at 1-800-227-2345 or visit www.cancer.org.
Last Medical Review: 09/22/2014
Last Revised: 10/09/2014