How to Explain a Child’s Cancer Diagnosis


Explaining to a child that he or she has been diagnosed with cancer is difficult for parents. Usually the parents are still coming to terms with the terrible news that their child has cancer themselves, and at first cannot even contemplate telling the child.

As a parent, your first instinct will be to protect your child, but children are very sensitive and intuitive, and will most probably realise that there is something radically wrong. They may already be going for a series of medical tests and being examined by various doctors; they will pick up that you are stressed, and may worry more if they do not know what is wrong.

Keeping the truth from your child may cause them to feel guilty for making you stressed out, which is not good for them. Some well-meaning family members may say something to them or one of their oncology team or staff at the clinic or hospital may inadvertently let something slip. If your child finds out about their cancer from another source they will lose trust in you as a parent because you were not honest with them.

Read more on how and what to tell your child at what age in THIS ARTICLE

In this podcast (audio only), MD Anderson Child Life Specialist Kelly Wagner shares information, advice and different approaches for how to talk to children of all ages about their cancers.

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About LFCT

This is a blog about CHILDHOOD CANCER and CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS Little Fighters Cancer Trust is a non-profit organisation that offers support and aid to Children with Cancer and their families. When a child is diagnosed with cancer it affects the whole family. One of the parents, usually the mother, must give up their job to care for the child and this creates financial problems for the family. In South Africa especially the majority of these families are not well-to-do; many of them are rural. A diagnosis of cancer can wipe out any family’s finances, let alone a poor family. The costs of special medications, special diets, hospital stays, transport to and from the hospital or clinic and accommodation and food costs for the mother who spends most of the time at her child’s bedside are astronomical. These are the people and problems that fall through the cracks, and these are the people that Little Fighters Cancer Trust has pledged to help in any way possible. LFCT takes a holistic approach to assisting the Children with Cancer and their Families, with the main aim to be the preservation of individual dignity and pride. Little Fighters Cancer Trust also focuses on promotion and advocacy of National Childhood Cancer Awareness in an effort to increase awareness of Early Warning Signs of Childhood Cancer. This would result in earlier diagnosis, giving the Child with Cancer more of a chance at Treatment and Survival. See "About" for more Background info

Posted on 1 February, 2016, in Advice & Tips, Blog, Videos and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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