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Our 24/7 cancer helpline provides support for people dealing with cancer. We can connect you with trained cancer information specialists who will answer questions about a cancer diagnosis and provide guidance and a compassionate ear.
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At our National Cancer Information Center trained Cancer Information Specialists can answer questions 24 hours a day, every day of the year to empower you with accurate, up-to-date information to help you make educated health decisions. We connect patients, caregivers, and family members with valuable services and resources.
Or ask us how you can get involved and support the fight against cancer. Some of the topics we can assist with include:
For medical questions, we encourage you to review our information with your doctor.
Survivorship: During and After Treatment
Siblings of children with cancer feel a lot of stress. Family routines change, and they may feel experience anger, sadness, anxiety, and guilt. They may worry about what is happening to their brother or sister, feel afraid they did something to cause their sibling's cancer, or feel as if they are getting less attention from their parents. They can also find it hard to manage school responsibilities and social relationships when everything at home is changing. Parents can help siblings adjust by explaining what is happening, talking with them about their feelings, making space for their concerns and worries, and making sure siblings have routines in the "new normal."
When a brother or sister has cancer, it helps siblings cope if they have information about what is happening. The most important thing parents can do is to be honest and share what they know in ways that are right for each child's age and stage of development. General strategies that help children of all ages include:
Children of different ages are able to understand different kinds of information. Here are suggestions to help siblings based on their age and stage of development. All siblings, regardless of their age, will benefit from having some time with their parents each week that is focused just on them. For more information about talking with children about cancer in a loved one or family member, see Helping Children When a Family Member has Cancer.
Like parents, patients and their siblings will find that with the help and support of those who love them they’ll be able to handle this cancer crisis. Cancer care teams can refer you to skilled experts to help your family as needed, offering teaching, counseling, support, information, and other resources to make the task easier. Don’t hesitate to ask for help.
The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team
Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.
Gerhardt C, Lehmann V, Long K, et al. Supporting Siblings as a Standard of Care in Pediatric Oncology. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2015; 62: S750–S804.
Last Revised: October 12, 2017
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