Talking to children and teenagers about cancer
This information aims to help you talk to children of any age, including teenagers, about cancer. It addresses parents with cancer, but it can also be used by partners, grandparents and close family members.
This is Debbie's story of talking to her children when she was diagnosed with cancer.
Cancer experiences vary and this video tells just one person's story. To hear others visit our online community.
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This section gives suggestions about how to:
tell a child or teenager you have cancer
understand their reactions
help them cope
explain cancer treatments
deal with changes to your family life.
Talking to children and teenagers about cancer is a hard thing to do. Being honest and including them in what’s happening is usually the best approach. When the time comes, many parents find the conversation more natural and less traumatic than they expected.
Most of the information in this section is relevant to teenagers as well as children, but we've highlighted information that's particularly relevant to teenagers in green boxes like this one.