Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Talking to Your Child About Cancer

All of us know someone, if not ourselves, who has had or currently has cancer of some type.  It seems that cancer rates are much higher today, but the exact cause is unknown and may likely be due to many factors.  There are many different types of cancer and many different types of treatment depending on the type of cancer.  At a basic level, cancer results from the uncontrolled dividing of cells in the body.  The older one is, the more likely one is to have cancer.  With increasing life expectancy, this may be one cause of higher cancer rates today.  There could be undetermined environmental effects as well.  

Given the prevalence of cancer in the world today, your child likely knows someone with cancer and has many questions.  Approximately 40% of people will have cancer at some point in their lives and 20% will die as a result of cancer.  Fortunately treatments today are far more effective than they were just a couple of decades ago.  If your not sure how to discuss the science of cancer with your child, I encourage you to watch this short YouTube video produced by BrainCraft.

This is a short, 6 minute video, that explains the very basics of cancer.  Obviously it doesn't get into the details and it isn't cancer-type specific, but for an introductory discussion on the basics of cancer, this video does a fantastic job.  

Like I said, we all know someone with cancer and anyone with kids knows that they ask many, many questions.  Sometimes we, as parents, don't have the answers and need help.  This video provides that help on this topic.  Cancer is a fact of life and something that is less scary when the facts are known.

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