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Information for local environment when children and adolescents are diagnosed with cancer

General

This information is intended for the family, school, daycare/nursery school, and workplace to ensure that the child/adolescent and family do not lose their social network due to a lack of information or misunderstanding about the child's disease and treatment.

Cancer is a serious and life-threatening disease. Around 140 children (0-14 years) develop cancer in Norway every year. Seventy to 80% survive the disease. Most endure intensive and long-term treatment lasting from 6 months to 2½ years. The treatment causes side effects in varying degrees and requires regular contact with the regional hospital for checks and treatment.

The disease affects the entire family. Children/adolsecents risk reducing school presence and socializing with other children and teenagers. Parents may have problems maintaining work during the treatment period and the normal life of a sibling is more unpredictable.

Children and adolescents may believe that their disease is contagious and the disease is a result of their behavior. Small children may believe the disease is caused by magic and a result of not following rules or orders.

Children have the need to be informed about serious events in their lives and family. It is also very important that siblings are informed and have help informing their environment. The child and their siblings need age-appropriate knowledge about cancer.

An information pamphlet has been written for how information can be conveyed both verbally and written; the pamphlet was written in collaboration between the Pediatric Clinic at Oslo University Hosptial and the the Norwegian Cancer Society. The pamphlet is now used at all regional hospitals in the country.

Indication

  • Children and adolsecents with cancer.

Goal

  • Children and adolescents can live a normal life during the cancer treatment.
  • Children and adolescents maintain their social function and have a good quality of life after treatment.
  • The environment is informed about the child's disease and treatment.
  • Siblings obtain information and support from parents and health personnel.
  • Children with cancer treatment obtain basic instruction adapted for their level and condition.

Reference

Information pamphlet for school and environment when a child has cancer [Online]. 2004 [retrieved 7. December 2007]; Available at: URL:http://www.kreftforeningen.no/vp/multimedia/archive/00001/N_r_barn_f_r_kreft_1338a.pdf




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