When Your Child Has Cancer: Explaining to the Children When They are Diagnosed with Cancer

It can be challenging to explain to a child that he/she has been diagnosed with cancer. If the message was not communicated appropriately, the child may feel isolated, scared, and imagine unrealistic worst-case scenarios. Hence, the delivery of a child’s cancer diagnosis is extremely important; talking about the diagnosis may help them feel more included, and cared for.

When explaining cancer to a child, you will need to be tactful and be prepared to manage your emotions. You can ask a medical professional or a counsellor to provide an accurate description of your child's particular cancer and treatment or request for them to take part in breaking the news to your child.

The following are some suggestions for explaining a cancer diagnosis to a child:


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