New guide to coping with cancer in the classroom

Queensland schools now have access to a new national guide to help students and staff cope effectively with cancer in the classroom.

Cancer in the School Community, launched by Cancer Council last week, is a national guide to assist primary and secondary school staff to support students, families and colleagues affected by cancer.

Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said the new guide may also be useful for parents, students and family members.

“When anyone in a school community is diagnosed with cancer, staff and students want to help but may be unsure about where to start,” Ms Clift said.

“Each chapter of the guide explores a particular issue that a school community might encounter – from talking about cancer to supporting students or staff members diagnosed, and how to help people who are bereaved.

“Cancer in the School Community helps Queenslanders understand that every individual navigates their cancer journey in a different way – some want to deal with it privately, and others may welcome all support.

“The free guide discusses potential reactions and suggested approaches to help students, staff or families affected by cancer in a supportive and helpful way.”

Around 650 children under the age of 15 are diagnosed with cancer every year in Australia.

Cancer in the School Community covers important issues ranging from respecting privacy to picking up on signs of distress, teasing and bullying, and students or teachers returning to school after a diagnosis or treatment.

“Cancer Council Queensland’s 13 11 20 is also available for anyone in the school community affected by cancer who needs direct support and assistance,” Ms Clift said.

“Callers can request referrals to our free statewide Cancer Counselling Service, helping families and children better cope with a cancer diagnosis.”

Queensland schools can download Cancer in the School Community for free via The full guide and individual chapters are available for download.

Printed copies of the guide, along with further information and support, is available via Cancer Council’s 13 11 20.

More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available via

For more information or interviews, please contact:

Katie Clift, Executive Manager, Media and Spokesperson, Cancer Council Queensland

Ph: (07) 3634 5372 or 0409 001 171