A diagnosis of cancer for a child can cause huge shockwaves through a family. Parents, grandparents, siblings and others will respond in different ways. It's common for different family members to experience a range of emotions, including anxiety, disbelief, anger, guilt and sadness.
Children diagnosed with cancer have many concerns and reactions that are different from those of an adult diagnosed with cancer. Many children-specific services are available in Australia - see our links below.
In Western Australia, Princess Margaret Hospital specialises in coordinating care for children diagnosed with cancer. There is also a comprehensive support network that provides support and information.
For further information or support please contact Cancer Council 13 11 20.
Below is a comprehensive list of organisations and websites that provide information and support for children, including those diagnosed with cancer, and their siblings. Some of these organisations also offer support to children who have a parent with cancer.
- CanTeen - Offers meetings, camps, education seminars, online forums, outings and counselling for young people living with cancer; this includes cancer patients, siblings and offspring of adults with cancer. Canteen provides support services and programs for young people aged 12-24 affected by cancer.
- Camp Quality- Provides camping and recreation opportunities for children with cancer (birth through to 13 years).
- Kids Helpline - Is a free, confidential telephone, email and web counselling service for 5-25 year olds.
- Make A Wish Foundation of Australia - Grants wishes to children under 18 years who have a life-threatening illness.
- Ronald McDonald House in Perth provides accommodation for families of children suffering from cancer-related diseases and other life-threatening illnesses, who are receiving treatment at the Princess Margaret Hospital.
- Starlight Foundation - Grants wishes to chronically and terminally ill children.
- Redkite - offers support for children and young people with cancer up to 24 years, and their families, offering hospital and community based support, counselling, financial assistance and education services.
- Hospital School Services - provides educational support for students whose physical or mental health prevents them from successfully participating in their own school programs; Support is available to both public and private school students.
- Leukaemia Foundation - provides personalised and practical support for children and their families living with a blood cancer diagnosis.
- Blood Buddies - Blood buddies is a phone-based peer support program.
- Cancer Australia - (Children's cancer) has an excellent range of information relating to children.