When you need to talk to a child about cancer, whether it is your own diagnosis or someone else’s, you may wonder how to best share this hard news. In this brochure, we offer suggestions for talking with children about a diagnosis, listening to their feelings about it, and supporting them through this challenging time. As Fred Rogers reminds us, throughout the loved one’s illness, the most important thing you can do for a child is to be present for them.
Here are a few additional resources that may help during this challenging time.
Local Supports: Many communities have support groups and faith-based programs to help children and their families as they face cancer. You can ask the child’s school and the hospital where the loved one is being treated about support options.
American Cancer Society: If you have questions about cancer, treatment options, or need to talk to a professional, The American Cancer Society provides 24/7, confidential and free support. Please call the following number: 1-800-227-2345.
American Society of Clinical Oncology: The ASCO website provides various supports, such as tips on how to talk to children, teenagers and partners about cancer.
Professional Counselor: If you feel speaking with a professional may help, you can use these sites to find a counselor in your area.