Talking to Kids About Breast Cancer

You or your partner have breast cancer. It's time to tell the kids. But what do you say? How much should you tell them? Let's take a moment to go over the basics.

Plan a time to tell them

First, plan a time for telling them. You want to be able to sit down and talk without distractions. If you need help, consider involving a counselor or therapist. Your doctor can let you know what support is available.

Be honest

Next, be honest. Let your kids know you may need surgery or other treatments. You may need to go to the hospital a lot. At home, you may feel tired or sick sometimes. But tell them you love them. Let them know you will help each other through this time.

Answer their questions

Your kids may want to know how you got your cancer, and what will happen to you. They may ask about treatment. Tell them the truth, but give them what they can handle. Very young children probably don't need to know as much as older kids. Make sure you let them know you have a team of doctors who all want to help you get better.

Talk to the school

Finally, consider reaching out to your kids' school to explain what's happening at home. A parent's cancer diagnosis can impact learning. By letting teachers know, they can help. For more info on how to tell your kids about cancer, talk to your doctor.