Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
 

Coping with Diagnosis of Cancer

Cancer Diagnosis: Coping with the Diagnosis of Cancer

Learning that you or someone you love has cancer can make you feel that your world is being turned upside down. Everything in life may suddenly feel out of control. This is because you did not choose cancer. Your initial thoughts may be "How could this have happened to me?" and "How will I get through this?" A cancer diagnosis is shocking and overwhelming. However, the prognosis of certain cancers continues to improve and the chance of being cured continues to increase. No matter what you may be told about the prognosis, there is always something that can be done and you must try to remain hopeful and in control of the decisions that will need to be made.

Coping with the diagnosis

Some practical things that you can do to help during this time include the following:

Helping children and youth cope with cancer

The following is a list of suggestions for patients, parents, and siblings that may help each individual cope with his or her emotions, depending on the age of the child with cancer and the age of the siblings:

Infants and very young children (birth to 3 years of age):

Toddlers, preschool (3 to 5 years of age):

School-aged children (6 to 12 years of age):

Adolescents (13 to 18 years of age and older):

The various members of the cancer team can assist you and your family, as needed. Don't be afraid to ask for help.

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