How to explain to children what cancer is

It has two syllables, is flat and has three letters. This is one of the words that can most alter a home: Cancer. When this disease enters the home, it is very difficult to prevent everything from changing, and even more difficult to explain to the children of the house what is happening. Children will see alterations, however they will not understand what is presented before them.

When a child sees sick of Cancer Someone close to you, like a family member or friend, will feel that something is wrong but they will not understand what is really happening. Therefore, as indicated from the American Oncology Association, parents should help their children understand what is really happening in front of them.


Do not avoid the word

If you want to make the little ones understand what cancer is, you can not ignore this word. Hiding this term will make increase more confusion, so when a child asks what happens to their friend or relative, parents should be clear and use this term clearly. Do not call the mistake and use euphemisms such as "is cured" or any other similar condition.

At the same time we must take into account the age of the smallest, this requires the use of an appropriate language to talk about cancer. Children need a simpler explanation that does not delve into clinical details. Make them see that the other person has a disease and that it will require constant care for some time.


To avoid scares when they go to see their acquaintances sick, as for example their grandparents, it is necessary to make clear that there is no risk of contagion, that they can give their love to these people and that in fact they need it. In visits to those affected by cancer should also be warned not to ask any question out of place to avoid saddening the other person and if they have any questions can make it to the parents when the visit ends.

Parents must also be prepared for the final more sad. Unfortunately cancer can end in the death of the other person, so when the time comes every parent has to be willing to explain what it means to fire someone forever. In this sense, it is convenient, as has been said before, not to fall into euphemisms that can give false hope to the smallest.


When the child is sick

Another very difficult situation for parents is to see how their children are those who get cancer, a context in which we have to talk about how they are going to face this stage. More smalls. First of all we have to tell them that the doctors have detected a disease and that an immediate treatment is necessary, which will have secondary effects but which is necessary for it to be cured.

In cases where it is necessary to internment Children need to understand that they will have their parents close by and that they have not behaved badly and that is why they are punished in this center. As long as circumstances allow, you have to let friends come to see you to give some normality to your situation.

If the situation surpasses the family, you do not have to fear to ask for help from a child psychologist to help the child understand his situation.

Marisol Nuevo Espín

Video: How to explain a child’s cancer diagnosis


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