Cancer in the Family

Although most women would have liked advice on how to break the news about cancer to their children, few women received any such counseling.

Women still reeling from the diagnosis of breast cancer need support and guidance regarding discussing this weighty matter with their children.

A study in the August 19th/26th, 2000 issue of the British Medical Journal found that although most women would have liked advice on how to break the news to their children, few women received any such counseling.

Often concerns about the children’s possible questions or fears led to the topic not being broached at all. This silence can be very frightening to children, who often sense the seriousness of the situation.

Frank, age-appropriate discussions of cancer tend to lower children’s anxiety (and that of the parents) and to make everyone feel closer and more secure — at a time when you all need to draw closer to each other more than ever before.

Published on: August 30, 2000
About the Author
Photo of Dr. Alan Greene
Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.
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