Cancer talk helps children

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The Independent Online
Cancer talk helps children

CANCER patients may help their children avoid psychological problems by talking freely with them about their disease, child health experts have claimed.

Research has shown that children of parents with cancer are at risk of developing psychological disturbance, but the level of anxiety is said to depend on whether the children are told about the illness and the extent to which they communicate with their parents. Professor Alan Stein, from the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine, London, writes in the British Medical Journal: "In one study of parents with advanced cancer ... informed children had lower levels of anxiety than uninformed ones."

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