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Bloomhill NewsClinical Care

Living well with cancer: Talking to kids about Cancer

By December 5, 2023No Comments

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. Research shows that being open helps children to cope with a diagnosis close to them.

Children know when something serious is affecting the family. They’ll notice unusual comings and goings, phone calls and hushed conversations. They’ll pick up on changes in how you and other adults around them are feeling and behaving.

Teenagers may react differently from younger children or adults when they’re told a parent has cancer. They may ask for more information about the diagnosis and what it means for family life, and they may need more time to work through their feelings. As with younger children, teenagers will benefit from being told the truth about the cancer and your treatment plan. It’s best to encourage them to ask any questions they have, and to answer these gently yet honestly. Remember that although teenagers value their independence, they’ll still look to you for reassurance and support.


Talking to Kids About Cancer | Cancer Council NSW


Camp Quality have an easy to read guide for children which is very informative to help guide these conversations.Talking to Kids About Cancer | Cancer Council NSW



“Cancer is a disease that can make adults and children sick. It’s rare for children to get cancer and we don’t know why it happens. It’s nobody’s fault, and no one did anything to cause this type of cancer – Redkite


A nurse, social worker or Psychologist can also help with the conversation and also to support the children whilst a they or a family member is going through treatment so they have a safe space to talk and ask questions. It’s important also to let the school know, school staff are often the first to notice shifts in a child’s behaviour that may indicate worry or distress.


Please contact our Nurses on 07 5445 5794 or nurses@bloomhill.com.au if you have any questions.

The information in this document is based on resources from the Cancer Council Queensland, Camp Quality & RedKite. All information provided by Bloomhill is based on research and best practice guidelines. Our model of care utilizes the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia (COSA) domains of wellness along with available clinical evidence. Always consult your care team regarding matters that affect your health. This is a guide intended for information only.