A cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment
process can be a frightening and difficult time for a
patient and their family. For families with young
children or teenagers there is additional concern
about how the children will react to the diagnosis
and treatment process of a parent.
Sharing the news is not an easy task. The Joan
Karnell Cancer Center provides you with a practical
set of information and resources to assist you
in talking with your children about the diagnosis
and treatment process, as well as information
and interactive activities for your children.
Through Children's Eyes:
and Helping Them Cope
As a parent diagnosed with cancer,
you will not only face your own fears, but also
those of your children. To help your children
cope with the lifechanging experience of your
diagnosis and treatment, it is important to consider
their level of understanding about illness.
that children are resilient and, with support,
they can cope. Therefore, it may be beneficial
to inform your child's teacher and/or school
administrator so they can support your child
during the school day. Communication is key throughout
the entire cancer journey. Ultimately, you know
your child best; the following information is
for your reference.
Choose from the following links to find information
about how your child understands serious illnesses
based upon their age and ways to help them cope
We have compiled a book
offers suggestions for additional resources.
You may have questions that are not
answered by the material on this site or find
yourself with additional concerns. Your social
worker can help. At the Joan Karnell Cancer Center
at Pennsylvania Hospital, social
work services are here to support you and your family cope
with the changes that occur as a result of cancer.
therapist, bereavement counselors
and psychologists are
available to you and your children. Your doctors,
nurses and other supportive care staff are also
available to talk, listen and assist you. Please
let us know how we can help. For more information,