The impact of cancer

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Learn about the different ways cancer will impact you and your teenager, and how other parents have coped when their child is diagnosed with cancer.

Key points

  • It is normal to experience a range of emotions when your child is diagnosed with cancer.
  • Try to avoid unhelpful thoughts, instead focusing on what you can do to care for your teen and for yourself.

You have probably experienced a wide range of emotions since the day your teenager was diagnosed with cancer. It is common to feel shock, disbelief or guilt. Many parents and caregivers describe the experience as being on an emotional roller coaster. You may find yourself wondering whether your teenager’s cancer was caused by something you did or didn’t do. You may also worry about the impact that your teenager’s cancer will have on their future, their independence and your family’s finances. These types of thoughts are common for parents and caregivers. However, these thoughts don’t help you or your teenager, and have the potential to create other difficulties. Instead, it is important to focus on what you can do for your teen, and to take care of yourself so that you are a strong source of support for them.

Your worries are real, valid and important. Fortunately, there are helpful ways to manage these worries.

Last updated: September 3rd 2019