Cancer Q&A

  1. WHAT IS CANCER? Cancer is a disease that effects the cells in your body. Cancer cells grow out of control and do not work properly. There are different types of cancer. When the cancer cells form a mass, this is called a tumor. If the cancer cells effect the blood cells, this is known as leukemia. Children get different types of cancers than adults; So the treatment may be different. The doctor will order tests to help diagnose the type of cancer. These tests may include: blood work, scans, x rays, biopsies, bone marrow and/or spinal taps.
  2. CAN YOU CATCH CANCER FROM SOMEONE? No! Absolutely not. Cancer is not contagious, you can not catch it from someone like a cold or flu.
  3. DID THE PERSON DO ANYTHING WRONG TO GET CANCER? NO! Children do not cause their cancer. Researchers are working very hard to find the causes of cancer. We may not know the exact mechanism at present. But we do that certain factors are associated with the development of cancer. For example smoking is linked to lung cancer and prolonged sun exposure , is linked to skin cancer. We know by avoiding smoking and protecting our skin from harmful rays these cancers may be prevented.
  4. CAN YOU PLAY WITH SOMEONE WHO HAS CANCER? Yes!!! Absolutely you can! Children that have cancer want to continue to do the things they enjoy. Friends are very important. Some days they may not feel up to it or may be in the hospital. But it is important to remember that your friend is still your friend. You can call them on the phone or write a letter or e-mail.
  5. HOW DO YOU TREAT CANCER? The type of cancer will determine the therapy. Some children may have surgery, an operation to remove the cancer. Some children may receive strong medicines, called chemotherapy, to fight the cancer. Some children may receive treatments with a high beam of energy, called radiation, to destroy the cancer. Some children may receive these treatments in combination.
  6. DO YOU THINK GOING BACK TO SCHOOL WOULD BE EASY FOR A CHILD WITH CANCER? No, it may not be easy to return to school. The child may look and feel different. There are things you can do to make it easier! Try to make the child feel welcome. Help carry their school bag (if they will let you). Tell classmates not to tease. Treat the child just like your other friends. School re-entry programs can be given to the class and/or teachers to help prepare for the child's return. Go to "About our program" to learn more about this.


>> Back to School Intervention and Re-Entry main page