Cancer Council helps parents talk to kids about cancer

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Cancer Council has launched the latest edition of its nationally accredited guide to help parents talk to their children about cancer – from breaking the news of a diagnosis, to coping with life after treatment.

Talking to Kids About Cancer is a national resource, designed to help parents talk with children of various ages about the various stages of cancer in a sensitive and informing way.

Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said the guide was created with advice relevant to whether the person diagnosed was a parent, adult, a child’s sibling or friend.

The resource includes information on the possible reactions that children of different ages may have when learning about a cancer diagnosis,” Ms Clift said.

“The guide offers suggestions on the language that should be used when talking to different age groups, creative ways to explain cancer and how to talk sensitively about a diagnosis of advanced cancer.

“Explaining a diagnosis of cancer to children or teenagers can feel difficult and overwhelming.

“The guide isn’t designed to tell people exactly what to say, but we hope it gives Queenslanders a starting point.

“Talking sensitively and honestly about a cancer diagnosis can provide reassurance during a time of uncertainty and change.

“Cancer effects the entire family. Our advice will help Queenslanders deal with changes in family routine, and answer hard questions that children may ask.”

Cancer remains the most common cause of disease-related death among children aged 1-14 in Australia, with more than 640 children diagnosed each year – almost half of these in children under four years of age.

“Importantly, the resource can be applied in situations when a parent or a young person is diagnosed,” Ms Clift said.

Talking to Kids About Cancer offers expert advice and referrals to support organisations, professional help and recommended reading for children and adults.

The new guide can be downloaded for free from or a free printed booklet can be obtained by calling Cancer Council on 13 11 20.

More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available at or 13 11 20.


For more information or interviews, please contact:
Katie Clift,
Executive Manager,
Media and Spokesperson,
Cancer Council Queensland
Phone: (07) 3634 5372
Mobile: 0409 001 171