Helping Children When a Family Member Has Cancer: Dealing With Treatment
Explaining cancer treatment to children can be tough. When facing cancer, adults usually feel anxious and scared enough without worrying about how a child will react, too. A lot of progress is being made in cancer treatment, but a first response of fear and uncertainty is normal.
It’s very hard to keep a cancer diagnosis a secret for long. The challenge is fitting cancer and its treatment into a family’s everyday life. This includes helping children deal with the major changes it causes. Here we will try to share information that can help you help a child who knows and cares about someone with cancer.
If the person with cancer is a child or teen, you may want to read Children Diagnosed With Cancer: Dealing With Diagnosis.
This is one in a series of pieces covering topics to help children when someone in the family has cancer. The others cover diagnosis, recurrence, terminal illness, losing a parent, and psychosocial support services. For more on these and other topics, go to the “To learn more” section.
- Helping Children When a Family Member Has Cancer: Dealing With Treatment
- Why tell children about the cancer treatment?
- What do children need to know about the cancer treatment?
- How do we handle all the changes?
- How can I make sure my child understands what I tell them?
- What if my child starts acting differently after I start treatment?
- How can relatives and friends help my children?
- Should children visit the hospital or clinic?
- How much should I tell my child’s school about my illness?
- What if people ask my child about my illness?
- How do families deal with uncertainty after treatment?
- Cancer changes everyone in the family.
- Does having cancer cause special problems in non-traditional families?
- What helps, by age of the child
- Words to describe cancer and its treatment
- To learn more
Last Medical Review: January 29, 2015 Last Revised: April 27, 2015