ABC Medical Center > Digital magazine > Childhood cancer: help your children understand their condition

Childhood cancer: help your children understand their condition

28 January 2022

Key points

  • How to talk to my child about their diagnosis?
  • What should we do as parents to support our children and face their illness together?

At ABC Medical Center we know that one of the keys to the patients’ well-being, in addition to the care and treatments we offer, is the support and understanding of family and friends, even more so when it comes to pediatric patients, because when an infant is diagnosed with cancer, one of the most difficult things is having to explain their health status and what changes it may bring.

Each child is different, some understand faster than others, so their approach on a day-to-day basis will depend on their age and maturity. For this reason, we share with you a small guide that can be very useful at a time as complicated as a childhood cancer diagnosis and that will help your child to be less scared.

Infants from 0 to 2 years
  • Explain as simple as possible the type of procedures that will be performed in the hospital.
  • Make them feel sheltered and protected inside and outside the hospital.
  • You will help them face their emotions without fear by comforting them after any procedure.
Infants from 2 to 7 years
  • Use simple terms and explain that all humans are made up of cells but that others grow without control and that those are the ones that affect us.
  • Take away their feelings of guilt associated with their condition.
  • Explain the procedures and tests before you arrive.
  • Try as much as possible to “reward” their effort when receiving treatments and how their health improves at each visit.
  • Your child must understand that, just like you, the doctors and nurses will be by their side accompanying them in their treatment.
Infants from 7 to 12 years
  • By associating their body limitations with their illness, children are more “open” to talking about their emotions.
  • They can follow a routine and more knowing that treatment can improve their health.
  • It is important to reassure them about cancer-related information they may see on social media or television that may confuse them.
  • Invite them to talk to you and their doctors about their doubts regarding diagnosis.
Infants 12+
  • Talk openly with your teen about their worries and fears.
  • At this stage it is possible to seek support from specialized and/or specially designed sources for adolescents.
  • By following a care routine and being aware of it, we can address the issue from a broader perspective.

At ABC Medical Center we have a multidisciplinary team made up of pediatric oncologists, pediatric hemato-oncologists, pediatric oncologist surgeons, pediatric neurosurgeons, bone marrow transplant specialists, radiation oncologists, pediatric intensive care physicians, nurses specialized in the care of pediatric patients, and other specialists, with experience in the various types of childhood cancer and dedicated to serving the unique needs of pediatric patients and their families.

At ABC Medical Center’s Department of Pediatric Oncology, we can provide you with specialized care. Contact us!

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