What to tell your children
- You are diagnosed with breast cancer.
- You breast and even other parts of your body are affected.
- What are the possible treatment for your disease?
- How can breast cancer affect your life?
- No one causes your breast cancer. Your child may think that their behaviors and results at school lead to your disease. Guilty as they may feel that they will keep asking you whether their thinking is true. Tell them that no one makes cancer happen.
- The children or the other parent cannot get cancer like catching flu. Some children may be afraid that they and other family members can get breast cancer from you as a cold or flu. You should explain that breast cancer cannot be passed from person to person. They do not have to worry that someone else can catch cancer from one another.
- The whole family will stay together to fight against breast cancer. This is a battle. The children, the other parent and you will fight together. Everyone tries their best.
- You still love them and care for them. Even you are sick and may not have much time with your child, you will love them to the end of your life.
What if your child asks if you are going to die?
- If your breast cancer can be cured: The doctors have told me that there are many good and effective treatments. And breast cancer usually gets better with these treatments.
- If your breast cancer has already spread to other parts of the body: My cancer is difficult to treat. However, you and I cannot know what is going to happen in the future. So do not worry about it. You and I can work on that together.
Tips for telling your child
- Keep it simple
- Be honest
- Choose proper time and place
- Be clear
- Be positive.
Review Date: February 22, 2017 | Last Modified: February 22, 2017
How should children be told that a parent has cancer?. http://www.cancer.org/treatment/childrenandcancer/helpingchildrenwhenafamilymemberhascancer/dealingwithdiagnosis/dealing-with-diagnosis-how-to-tell-children. Accessed January 1, 2017.
What if my child asks if I’m going to die?. http://www.cancer.org/treatment/childrenandcancer/helpingchildrenwhenafamilymemberhascancer/dealingwithdiagnosis/dealing-with-diagnosis-asks-going-to-die. Accessed January 1, 2017.
Talking to your kids about cancer. http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/cancer/pages/talkingtokidsaboutcancer.aspx. Accessed January 1, 2017.
How to Talk to a Child About Cancer. http://blogs.webmd.com/cancer/2016/05/how-to-talk-to-a-child-about-cancer.html. Accessed January 1, 2017.