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Strategies for helping families deal with a child’s cancer diagnosis



Indianapolis, Indiana – It is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September.

According to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 43 kids in the US receive a cancer diagnosis each day. Only half of the 400,000 children and teenagers who get cancer worldwide receive a diagnosis.

Childhood cancer accounts for less than 1% of all new cancer diagnoses in the United States, according to the Indiana Cancer Consortium. Only accidents rank higher among the top causes of death for American children aged one to fourteen than cancer, despite its rarity.

According to data from 2013 to 2017, Indiana children aged 0 to 19 experienced 375 cancer cases and 57 cancer-related deaths annually. According to reports, Indiana’s patterns for pediatric cancer are comparable to those observed around the country.

According to the World Health Organization, the cause of childhood cancer is unknown in the majority of instances.

On Tuesday, I was joined in the Daybreak studio by Michelle Hoffman, a pediatric oncology social worker from Riley Children’s Health, to discuss strategies for helping families deal with a cancer diagnosis.

Doctors say it’s normal to want to help the family when a child is diagnosed with cancer, but it’s not always clear what or how to help.

According to Hoffman, being present for families dealing with a pediatric cancer diagnosis is a terrific approach to assist them. Any form of assistance, she continues, is preferable than quiet. You can supply meals, verbally or in writing, encourage others, watch your siblings, help around the house, take care of your pets, or send money.

Hoffman warns parents and caregivers to make time for inquiries and concerns, acknowledging that it can be challenging to talk to kids about other kids who are dealing with cancer. Be patient with your children’s questions, she advises, as they may find it difficult to comprehend how a friend or classmate’s cancer diagnosis is affecting them.

It is encouraged to make any deliberate efforts to reduce the stress these families are under.




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