Children Diagnosed With Cancer: Understanding the Health Care System

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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,

Diagnosis and treatment

Children Diagnosed With Cancer: Dealing With Diagnosis (also in Spanish)

After Diagnosis: A Guide for Patients and Families (also in Spanish)

Pediatric Cancer Centers

Talking With Your Doctor (also in Spanish)

Health Professionals Associated With Cancer Care

Clinical Trials: What You Need to Know (also in Spanish)

Children Diagnosed With Cancer: Financial and Insurance Issues

Cancer Information on the Internet

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.

Long-term concerns

Children Diagnosed With Cancer: Returning to School

Children Diagnosed With Cancer: Late Effects of Cancer Treatment

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 the 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)

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:

    Web site offers support for families with cancer, 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:

    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 These guidelines provide recommendations for screening and management of late effects that may result from pediatric cancer treatments.

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Toll-free number: 1-800-955-4572
Web site:

    Offers family support groups for children with blood cancers. Also has free educational publications and Webcasts.

Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC)
Telephone: 630-623-7048
Web site:

    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.

The National Children’s Cancer Society, Inc.
Toll-free number: 1-800-5-FAMILY (1-800-532-6459)
Web site:

    Services include an online support network for parents of children with cancer, educational materials, and financial assistance for treatment-related expenses.

Telephone: 651-789-2300
Web site:

    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 sites for teens and children

Web site:

    2bMe is part of Look Good...Feel Better for Teens. For those ages 13 through 17, it gives both guys and girls information on many appearance-related, social, and nutritional side effects of treatment.

Group Loop (a subsite of the Cancer Support Community for teens)
Toll-free number: 1-888-793-9355
Web site:

    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.

Starlight Children’s Foundation
Toll-free number: 1-800-315-2580
Web site:

    Web site has animated stories and interactive programs to teach kids about chemo and procedures that may be done in the hospital; provides a safe, monitored online support group for teens with cancer.

Cancer Kids
Web site:

    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:

    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” 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:

    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:

    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:

    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.

Other publications*

Books for adults

100 Questions & Answers About Your Child’s Cancer, by William L. Carroll and Jessica Reisman. 2004.

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 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

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, or call 1-800-422-6237.

Young People with Cancer: A Handbook for Parents, National Cancer Institute, 2003. Available at, 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

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 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, or call 1-800-422-6237.

*Inclusion on these lists does not imply endorsement by the American Cancer Society.

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

Last Medical Review: 07/02/2012
Last Revised: 07/02/2012