Cancer is rare in children. But when a child or adolescent is diagnosed with a cancer, the reaction of the family to such a diagnosis is often that of shock and disbelief. It affects not just parents and grandparents but other siblings and close friends as well. Parents feel that their life is out of control and find themselves helpless. They feel guilty that they could not protect their child. There is a feeling of anger, sadness and fear in the family. The family goes in a crisis. To the child, the diagnosis of cancer is as traumatic as it is to any member of the family. He/she will feel angry, afraid, confused or even depressed. All these reactions are normal and start to settle down gradually. But children need security to help them cope with such situation. It is very important for parents and grandparents to show their love and support as much as they can. But at the same time, it is important to treat them as normally as possible; otherwise it may create some problems in the future. For the parents and caregivers, it is very important to look after themselves as well. They need to eat, sleep and try to carry out usual activities as normally as they possibly can. This will keep them healthy and in control of the situation.
Fortunately, diagnosis and treatment of childhood cancers continue to improve, thus increasing the cancer cure rates in children.
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