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How to Tell a Child about Terminal Cancer?

October 18, 2013 - 13:34

Hi, we got bad news reqarding my Father-in-laws cancer recently. Our only daughter (8 years old) is very-very close to him and he is coming home for palitive care ( his wife has passed also). Just hoping to get some advice or experience from others as to how to tell my daughter, should we tell sooner or later? Thanks in advance.

October 24, 2013 - 09:50

Dear Firefly
We are sorry to read that your father in law’s cancer has advanced. Your daughter may well suspect that something is wrong as children are extremely intuitive. I am attaching a link to our booklet called "Talking to children about cancer" - click here to download.
Children in this age group think logically and like facts. It is important that they get accurate information from the right source and don’t overhear a conversation. They need reassurance they are loved and that their world won’t change, i.e. school routine etc. We would also recommend that her school is informed.
You can phone our National Cancer Helpline on Freefone 1800 200 700 if you would like to speak to a nurse about this.
Kind regards
Cancer Information Service Nurse.

November 13, 2013 - 10:47

Hi, just read your booklet it is a great help, thank you very much.