MBC & Relationships

Talking to Young Children

Though challenging, it is better to talk with your children about your metastatic breast cancer (MBC) diagnosis rather than ignore it. Children can sense when parents seem stressed, or when daily routines are disrupted. While young children do not need in-depth information, they do need honesty and reassurance.

Be prepared.

Decide what you are going to say and how you are going to say it. Take some time to practice out loud, such as in front of a mirror.

Keep it simple.

Use words that are familiar and avoid complicated explanations. You’ll also want to use your normal tone and language, offering a realistic yet hopeful assessment of the situation.


Young children in particular may think that cancer is contagious so it’s important to let them know that they can’t catch MBC like a cold.

Encourage questions.

Asking if they have any questions can help to take away some of the unknowns surrounding MBC.

Develop a support system for your child by:
  • Asking members of your extended family to play a larger role in their life.

  • Reaching out to your oncology social worker to see if they have child-focused resources or counselors.

  • Notifying their school counselor so they can monitor behavior changes and provide emotional support.

  • Identifying another adult in their life, whether it be a coach or family friend, who can play a role in helping them grow.

Visit these pages to learn more:
  • Physical
  • Emotional &
    Spiritual Health
  • MBC
    & Relationships
  • Life