There is lots of help and support available for children, their parents, siblings and other family members.
Although about 80 out of 100 children (about 80%) are now successfully treated, childhood cancer is still devastating for everyone concerned.
Treatment can last for months, or even years, which means long stays in hospital and being away from the home, school, friends and siblings. School age children may fall behind.
Even though children’s wards have teachers to keep the children's school work up to date, side effects from the cancer and its treatment often make children very tired. They might not always feel like not doing anything, except having a cuddle with mum or dad.
Helping families cope
Childhood cancer survivors are at an increased risk of low mood, anxiety or post traumatic stress disorder or phobias related to having medical treatment.
Researchers have been looking at how families cope when a child has cancer and what factors are important in making the child (and family) either more vulnerable or better able to cope with cancer and its consequences.
As well as the doctors and nurses on the ward, you and your child will be supported by a number of professionals during and after treatment, including:
- your GP
- cancer nurse specialists
- social workers
- play specialists
- psychologist or psychotherapist
Getting information and support
There is a lot of support available to help you and your child.
Cancer Research UK Information Nurses
Children's cancer organisations
We have more information on different children's cancer organisations. You can contact for them for information, help and support.
Children's Cancer and Leukaemia Group (CCLG)
The Children's Cancer and Leukaemia Group (CCLG) have a booklet called Children and Young People with Cancer: A Parent's Guide. This booklet is for parents or carers of a child diagnosed with cancer.
It gives general information about childhood cancer, treatments and where to get further information and support. It is helpful for parents and grandparents. The CCLG also has factsheets about individual types of children’s cancer and their treatment.
Cancer Research UK has an online forum called Cancer Chat. You might find it helpful to join the forum to:
- talk to other people whose children or grandchildren have cancer
- share your experiences
- find information