Talking to Kids About Cancer


Cancer Council, Australia, offers a book with detailed information, tips and recommendations on how to talk to children about cancer. With stories and examples from people affected by cancer, it is meant to serve as a basis for communicating about the disease with children.

The book guides the reader through the different stages of cancer, outlining particular important aspects to consider in each stage – from diagnosis, through treatment and the post-treatment period, to dealing with the incurability of cancer and the death of a loved one when cure is not possible.

According to the age of the child, their understanding of the disease and needs are very different, but also depending on their personality, each child needs an individual form of communication and support. Honest, sensitive explanations, the possibility to ask questions and being there for the child are important key points. The glossary at the end, which describes many oncology terms in a language suitable for children, provides further useful information.