- 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 will get 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
We have selected 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 Web site, 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 Web site.
Surgery (also in Spanish)
Understanding Chemotherapy: A Guide for Patients and Families (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
The following books are available from your American Cancer Society. Call us to ask about costs or to place your 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 Web sites*
Along with the American Cancer Society, other sources of information and support include:
Web sites for adults
American Childhood Cancer Organization (ACCO)
Toll-free number: 1-855-858-2226
Web site: http://acco.org/
Web site 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 National Childhood Cancer Foundation (NCCF)
Toll-free number: 1-800-458-6223
Web site: www.curesearch.org
Provides up-to-date information about childhood cancer from pediatric cancer experts. Has sections on the Web site 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)
Web site: www.cancer.gov
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)
Web site: www.rmhc.org
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.)
Web site: www.hairclub.com/hc_for_kids.php
Offers free hair restoration services to children ages 6 through 17 who have hair loss due to cancer treatments.
National Children’s Cancer Society, Inc. (NCCS)
Toll-free number: 1-800-5-FAMILY (1-800-532-6459)
Web site: www.children-cancer.org
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
Web site: www.fertilehope.org
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.
Web site: www.caringbridge.org
Offers free, personal Web sites that help you stay connected to family and friends during illness, treatment, and recovery; lets patients and caregivers keep loved ones informed.
Web site: www.cancer.net/patient/Coping
Cancer information from the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Online, choose “Age-specific information,” then either “teens” or “children” to find more about coping with cancer in children or adolescents.
National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD)
Toll-free number: 1-800-999-6673
Web site: www.rarediseases.org
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).
Web sites for teens and children
Starlight Children’s Foundation
Toll-free number: 1-800-315-2580
Web site: www.starlight.org
Web site 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.
Web site: www.2bme.org
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
Web site: www.grouploop.org
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.
Web site: www.cancerkids.com
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
Web site: www.cancerreallysucks.org
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
Web site: www.teenslivingwithcancer.org/
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.
I’m too young for this! Cancer Foundation
Web site: http://i2y.com
Social networking organization for young adult cancer survivors and care providers that offers support to help improve quality of life for young adults (ages 15 to 39) affected by cancer.
Toll-free number: 1-888-417-4704
Web site: www.supersibs.org
Supports, honors, and recognizes 4- to 18-year-old brothers and sisters of children diagnosed with cancer so they may face the future with strength, courage, and hope.
Books for adults
Cancer & Self-Help: Bridging the Troubled Waters of Childhood Illness, by Mark A. Chesler and Barbara K. Chesney. University of Wisconsin Press, 1995.
Care for Children and Adolescents with Cancer, National Cancer Institute, 2008. Available at www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/NCI/children-adolescents or call 1-800-422-6237.
Childhood Brain & Spinal Cord Tumors: A Guide for Families, Friends, and Caregivers, by Tania Shiminski-Maher, Patsy McGuire Cullen, and Maria Sansalone. O’Reilly and Associates, 2001.
Childhood Cancer: A Parent’s Guide to Solid Tumor Cancers, 2nd ed. by Honna Janes-Hodder and Nancy Keene. O’Reilly and Associates, 2002.
Childhood Cancer Survivors: A Practical Guide to Your Future, 3rd ed. by Nancy Keene, Wendy Hobbie, and Kathy Ruccione. O’Reilly and Associates, 2012.
Children with Cancer: A Comprehensive Reference Guide for Parents, by Jeanne Munn Bracken. Oxford University Press, 2010.
Educating The Child With Cancer: A Guide for Parents and Teachers, edited by Nancy Keene. American Childhood Cancer Organization, 2003. Can be ordered from http://acco.org/.
Living with Childhood Cancer: A Practical Guide to Help Families Cope, by Leigh A. Woznick and Carol D. Goodheart. American Psychological Association, 2002.
Shelter from the Storm: Caring for a Child with a Life-Threatening Condition, by Joanne Hilden, MD. Perseus, 2002.
When Bad Things Happen to Good People, by Harold Kushner. First Anchor, 2004.
When Someone You Love is Being Treated for Cancer, National Cancer Institute, 2012. Available at www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/when-someone-you-love-is-treated, or call 1-800-422-6237.
Young People with Cancer: A Handbook for Parents. National Cancer Institute, 2003. Available at www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/youngpeople or call 1-800-422-6237.
Your Child in the Hospital: A Practical Guide for Parents, 2nd ed, by Nancy Keene and Rachel Prentice. O’Reilly Media, 1999. (Also in Spanish.)
Books for children and teens
Although these books are intended for children, younger kids are helped more when an adult reads with and helps the child reflect about what different parts of the book mean to the child.
Chemo, Craziness and Comfort: My Book about Childhood Cancer, by Nancy Keene. American Childhood Cancer Organization, 2002. Can be ordered from http://acco.org/. For ages 6 to 12.
Childhood Cancer Survivors: A Practical Guide to Your Future, 3rd ed. by Kathy Ruccione, Nancy Keene, and Wendy Hobbie. 2012. For older teens.
Going to the Hospital, by Fred Rogers. Paperstar Book, 1997. For ages 4 to 8.
Little Tree: A Story for Children with Serious Medical Problems, by Joyce C. Mills. Magination Press, 2003. For ages 4 to 8.
What About Me? When Brothers and Sisters Get Sick, by Allan Peterkin and Frances Middendorf. Magination Press, 1992. For brothers and sisters of a child with cancer. For ages 4 to 8.
When Someone Has a Very Serious Illness: Children can learn to cope with loss and change, by Marge Heegaard. Woodland Press, 1992. For ages 6 to 12.
When Your Brother or Sister Has Cancer: A Guide for Teens, National Cancer Institute, 2011. Available at www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/coping/when-your-parent-has-cancer, or call 1-800-422-6237.
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: 06/29/2012
Last Revised: 06/29/2012