How to explain to a child what cancer is?

How to explain to a child what cancer is?

Talking to Your Child About Cancer

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answers (2)

Answer 1
March, 2021

Cancer is a serious disease that is difficult to treat and often leads to death. Elderly people are more often ill with it, it is provoked by smoking and alcohol consumption. This is not the flu or sore throat, it is better not to get sick with this, and when you get sick, do not delay treatment. That's what cancer is, son. (It seems to be true, and not too scary.)

Answer 2
March, 2021

It is always difficult to answer tough questions, especially in a situation where they cause feelings for adults themselves. A lot depends on how old the child is and how it is generally accepted in the family to talk on sensitive topics.

General recommendations in this case are as follows:
- To understand the purpose for which you are planning to tell the child about the disease: simple
informing that there are oncological diseases in the world; why someone close
will be in the hospital for a long time; why now there are a number of prohibitions and restrictions, etc.
Build your story based on these goals.
- In no case should you make a moralizing lecture or "horror story" out of this conversation.
(" If you smoke, the same will happen to you ”). As mentioned in the first paragraph, this does not relate to the purpose of your conversation.
- Since the child may have a variety of questions, try to collect as much information as possible: • treatment projections, possible limitations for people with similar
disease, etc. If you do not have an answer to the child's question, do not invent it, it is better to take a pause and find complete information.
- Such a conversation should be built not in the form of a lecture, but in the form of a dialogue, so that the child can ask right away questions about what is unclear to him, or express his attitude to what he has heard.
- The older the child, the more detailed the answer can be given to him.
- Uncertainty scares most of all, the child can think of absolutely fantastic options. Therefore, be sure to check with the child what remained unclear to him, and be ready to answer all his questions.
- Be open and sincere, the child needs to understand that he will be able to get all the necessary information.
Of course, it is better for parents to have such a conversation with the child. If for some reason this is not possible, then a person with whom the child has a close and trusting relationship can talk.

Also remember that the child may not have questions during a conversation, and later. At the end of the conversation, it makes sense to repeat that the child can at any time clarify everything that he / she did not understand.

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