When Bill was first diagnosed with prostate cancer, I had two teenage sons and we had to decide how to talk to them about his cancer. That discussion continued throughout the course of his disease right up until his death. We, as advocates, have to remember that children are also impacted by prostate cancer and this resource from CancerCare that was developed for social workers can help us also to educate survivors and their families.
Talking to a child about a parent’s, grandparent’s, or sibling’s cancer and how it will affect the family isn’t easy, but it is
necessary. There is a resource, a CancerCare Connect® booklet that can help. It includes tips for talking with children about a family member’s cancer and treatment. It also suggests ways to help children cope with some of the feelings they may experience at this time.
For more than 60 years, CancerCare®, a national nonprofit organization, has helped people with cancer and their loved
ones. Their CancerCare for Kids® program helps parents and children cope with a cancer diagnosis in the family. CancerCare also has professional oncology social workers on staff who understand the complex needs of children and provide counseling, support groups, workshops, and therapeutic recreational activities. Our services are offered by telephone, online, and in person, and are completely free of charge.
By talking with your children honestly and helping them express their emotions, you make it easier for them to feel safe
and secure. And as their parent, you are the best judge of how to talk to your children. But the first conversation about cancer is often the hardest. The information in this booklet will help you start that conversation and give you the tools to keep it going every step of the way.