Talking to Kids About Cancer
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Talking to Kids About Cancer
Support services, resources and information
Anyone can call Cancer Council 13 11 20 Information and Support service.
Our 13 11 20 Information and Support service is a confidential service, open Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm (cost of a local call, except from mobiles), and is staffed by experienced cancer nurses.
You can also ask our nurses a question online.
Website about cancer for children, aged 3 to 12 years
Bearing Up Club
An internet club for kids dealing with bereavement. Once a child is registered, they can join an online chat room. The developers of this site, Mal and Valerie McKissock, are well-known bereavement therapists who have written grief books for children and adults dealing with grief.
Other websites for cancer support
Contact CanTeen, Camp Quality or Redkite about programs that may help you and your children cope with cancer. Lifeline and Kids Helpline both provide 24-hour telephone counselling.
Picture books about cancer
- My Mum’s Got Cancer by Dr Lucy Blunt, Jane Curry Publishing, 2013
- Safina and the Hat Tree by Cynthia Hartman, Nomota Pty Ltd, 2004
- Sammy’s Mommy Has Cancer by Sherry Kohlenberg, Magination Press, 1993
- My Mum Has Breast Cancer: a family’s cancer journey by Lisa Sewards, Harrison Sewards, Self-published, 2007
- My Name Is Buddy: a story for children about brain tumours
Books for younger readers about cancer
- She’s Got What? A story about cancer by Carrie Lethborg and Angela Kirsner, St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne, 1999
- When Someone You Love Has Cancer: a guide to help kids cope (Written from a Christian perspective), Alaric Lewis Abbey Press, 2005
- Beginnings and Endings with Lifetimes in Between by Bryan Mellonie and Robert Ingpen, Penguin, 2005
- I Miss You: a first look at death, Pat Thomas Barron’s Educational Series, 2001
- Because… Someone I Love Has Cancer (Activity book for kids aged 5–10), American Cancer Society, 2002
Books for teenagers about cancer
- Allie McGregor’s True Colours by Sue Lawson, Black Dog Books, 2006
- Now What…? Dealing with your parent’s cancer, CanTeen, 2010
- Now What…? When your parent’s cancer can’t be cured, CanTeen, 2011
- Now What…? Living with the death of your parent or brother or sister from cancer, Canteen, 2010
- When Your Parent has Cancer: a guide for teens, National Cancer Institute, 2005
This information is reviewed by
This information was last reviewed December 2018 by the following expert content reviewers: Professor Kate White, Chair of Nursing, The University of Sydney, NSW; Sarah Ellis, Psychologist, Behavioural Sciences Unit, Kids with Cancer Foundation, Sydney Children’s Hospital, NSW; Kate Fernandez, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council SA; Chandra Franken, Program Manager – NSW & ACT, Starlight Children’s Foundation, NSW; John Friedsam, General Manager of Divisions, CanTeen, NSW; Keely Gordon-King, Cancer Counselling Psychologist, Cancer Council Queensland; Stephanie Konings, Research Officer, CanTeen, NSW; Sally and Rosie Morgan, Consumers; Dr Pandora Patterson, General Manager, Research and Youth Cancer Services, Canteen, and Adjunct Associate Professor, Cancer Nursing Research Unit, The University of Sydney, NSW and Visiting Professor, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Coventry University, UK; Suzanne Rumi, Consumer; Michael Sieders, Primary School Program Manager, Camp Quality.