Children are naturally curious about their disease and have many doubts about cancer and treatment.
Your child will expect you to have answers to most questions. Children can start asking questions right after diagnosis or they can wait until later.
Here are some common questions and ideas to help you answer them:
The child asks "Why do I have cancer?"
A child may feel that it is his fault, that he or she somehow caused the illness.
Make it clear that not even doctors know exactly what caused the cancer. Not even what you, your son, brothers or sisters did, said or thought caused the cancer.
Cancer is not contagious, and your child does not "get" it or pass it on to someone else.
Will I be healed
Children often know about family members or friends who have died of cancer.
As a result, many children are afraid to ask if they will be okay, because they fear the answer is "no".
So, you can tell your child that cancer is a serious disease, but that treatment can help you get rid of the disease.
What will happen to me
When your child is diagnosed with cancer, many new and frightening things will happen.
Your child may be too afraid to ask questions. It is important to talk about these concerns.
Explain about cancer, treatment and possible side effects.
You can also explain that there are many different types of cancer, and that even when two children have the same cancer, what happens to one child will not always happen to the other.
Children should be informed of any changes to their treatment schedule or the type of treatment they receive, this information will help you prepare for visits to the doctor or hospital.
You can help your child keep a calendar that shows the days of doctor's appointments, treatments, or exams.