A DIFFICULT DISCUSSION
Talking to Your Kids About Cancer
FOCUS ON PREVENTION EDUCATION A loved one doesn’t have to be diagnosed with cancer for you to educate your family about the disease and its prevention. Studies have linked prevention efforts, including anti- smoking campaigns and healthy lifestyle programs, to actually preventing cancer. (In fact, half of all cancers
As pink-clad products line store shelves this October in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, children are bound to be curious. Since they rationalize the world around them with what they already know, kids may ask silly questions like, “Is cancer contagious?” Whether you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer or you just feel it’s time to educate your children about the disease, answering questions can be difficult. These tips can help you prepare. ALWAYS TELL THE TRUTH Telling a child that you or a loved one has cancer can be complicated. To start, the American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends giving yourself time after hearing the news of a cancer diagnosis to process this new reality. Two- parent households should tell their children together, while single parents are encouraged to ask an adult with a positive influence on the child’s life to join the conversation. Remember, your child will be experiencing the same emotions as you but in a kid’s body, where hormones and developmental changes are already wreaking havoc. Monitor their emotions and offer them space and opportunities to discuss their feelings with a professional. When it comes to explaining the disease and its consequences, younger children may require fewer details and broader concepts, while older kids may need more comprehensive answers to their questions. A 5-year-old is going to have different concerns than a 16-year-old, so your approach must be different. However, regardless of your child’s age, always tell the truth.
can be prevented!) Teach your child about the dangers of tobacco, alcohol, and excessive sun exposure to foster healthy habits and lifestyles. Organizations that host walks, benefits, and other events for cancer prevention and research can be great sources of education for families, too.
The ACS has resources for families living with cancer or those wanting to learn more. Visit Cancer.org for more information.
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Raymond Chandler once informally advised aspiring crime novelists that if at any point the narrative started to slow down too much, “just bring in a couple of gents with heaters.” As a long-time fan of Chandler’s work, Greg DuPont is all too aware that his life is beginning to resemble one of the iconic author’s storylines. For that reason, he is on his guard as he leaves the office that evening, thinking about homicide detectives and dead beekeepers, but, when the gents with heaters do show up, they’re nothing like he ever would have guessed. Check out the entire chapter, catch up on prior chapters, enter the monthly $25.00 drawing, and perhaps learn a few things at www.DandBlaw.com or http://bit.ly/PilotMysteryCh5. The deadline for entry is Oct. 31.
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