My Family Member Has Cancer

Learning about cancer and how it is handled might help you prepare for what is to come. This might make you feel less worried.


Roland Schäfli

Anne Jäkel

Nur Barlasakli


Understanding What to Expect

Learning about cancer and how it is handled might help you prepare for what is to come. This might make you feel less worried. Some of what you’ve seen or heard about cancer may not apply to your loved one. Remember that cancer is a set of connected diseases, not a single disease. Doctors have discovered over 100 distinct forms of cancer. Each has a unique set of treatments and consequences.

Support for Teens

You can prepare for some of the things you may encounter as a teen if your parent or sibling has cancer if you read this information. It is important to remember that there is also help available for you while your family member is getting better. Feeling alone shouldn’t be a part of the experience. It might be helpful to talk with family members about the information you find here. The information may help you address something that’s bothering you.

Here are 5 facts to get started:

  • There are many people who survive cancer. And researchers are discovering better cancer treatments.
  • There is no reason to feel alone. Currently, it may seem as if no one else understands your feelings. So you’re right, in a way because no one can feel the same way you do. It may help to know that many teens have cancer in their families. Talking to other teenagers who are going through similar experiences might help you sort out your feelings.
  • Balance is essential. Many teenagers believe that having a brother or parent with cancer is a constant source of worry for them. Others attempt to avoid it entirely. Strive towards a happy medium. You may be worried while still maintaining contact with friends and participating in activities that are important to you.
  • Power comes from knowledge. It might be beneficial to understand more about the sort of cancer your loved one has and how it will be treated. Sometimes, your imagination is worse than reality.
  • Provide some comfort. You will be strong for your family at times, and your family will be strong for you at others.

You and Your Family Following a Cancer Diagnosis

Your family may be undergoing several changes. You may be the family’s eldest, youngest, or middle kid. You may live with one or both parents. Whatever your family situation is, things have most likely altered since your sibling or parent was diagnosed with cancer. You may be requested to take on more responsibilities. At first, you may resent it. On the other hand, you could learn a lot from the experience and grow to appreciate your parents’ faith in you.

Do any of these ring a bell?

  • Doing more housework;
  • Spending more time at home alone;
  • Spending more time with your family;
  • Spend more time cooking or washing laundry;
  • Wishing to spend time with your pals while you are required at home;
  • Trying to shield your parents from anything that would cause them concern.

One thing is for sure routines and responsibilities are shifting. Inform your parents if you believe you have more work than you can handle. You can figure things out together.

Teens who believe their families have become closer claim it is because members in their family:

  • They tried to put themselves in the other person’s shoes and imagined how they would feel if they were the other person.
  • Recognized that, regardless of how individuals react to events, they are all in pain. Some people cried a lot. Others were emotionless. Some people used humor to get by.
  • They learned to appreciate and discuss differences. The more they questioned how others were feeling, the more they were able to assist one another.

Keeping in Touch

Families agree that making time to communicate together, even if it’s only for a few minutes each week, helps. Talking may help your family stay connected and resolve issues. Some teenagers want to know everything, while others simply want to know a few things. Tell your parents how curious you are.

Expect your parents to be stressed out, just like you. Your parent may not always do or say the appropriate thing. Demonstrate your concern for your sick parent or sibling. Perhaps he or she is ill or exhausted. Or maybe he or she is OK and just wants to be with you.

Support your siblings. Your younger siblings may look to you for assistance if you are the eldest kid. It’s fine to let them know you’re going through a rough time as well. Tell your elder sibling how you feel if you are seeking assistance from them. They can assist, but they may not have all of the answers.


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