A child’s world is disrupted when family resources are mobilized towards battling a parent’s cancer, and children can become confused or scared during the process. An area of concern and need for patients who are also parents is how to break the news of a cancer diagnosis and treatment to children in a way that is age-appropriate, informative, and most importantly, won’t generate undue amounts of stress in children.
One way that parents and families stay connected during the cancer treatment journey is through the resources at The University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Patient Education Resource Center (PERC), a full-service library containing books and brochures on cancer, caregiving, coping and survivorship topics. The PERC has a number of resources available for parents explaining a cancer diagnosis to children.
The books on this comprehensive, age-specific and development-specific list are available through the PERC and can be found at your local library, Barnes and Noble or on Amazon.com. If you can’t come to the PERC in person, click on the link to the book to display the closest libraries that have the book, as well as links to Amazon records.
Included are books for parents that contain expert advice about how to talk to children about your cancer, how children perceive and react to a parent’s cancer diagnosis, and how to support your children and keep your family strong during cancer treatment.
Sometimes families need additional support and guidance as they face cancer together. The Patient and Family Support Services staff at the U-M Cancer Center offers a variety of services to help ease the burden of cancer, including social work staff specially trained to work with children whose parents are undergoing cancer treatment.
We know that supporting patients emotionally is an important component of cancer treatment and our mission is to reduce the burden of cancer for all of our patients and families. Please share in the comments any advice you have for parents.
The PERC is a philanthropy-funded resource center for U-M cancer patients and families.