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Questions About Cancer? 1-800-4-CANCER

When Your Parent Has Cancer: A Guide for Teens

  • Posted: 04/12/2011

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Learning more on your own

Help is a phone call or web site away

It's great that you want to learn more. Keep in mind that cancer treatments are getting better all the time. Make sure that what you read or see is up to date and accurate. Talk with your parent or other trusted adult about what you find. Share the articles or books you've found with them. Ask them any questions you may have. You can get information from:

  • Your school or public library
    Ask the librarian to help you find the information or support that you're looking for in books, magazines, videos, or on the Internet.
  • The Internet
    Use an Internet search engine and type in general words like "parent" and "cancer" together to get started. Keep in mind that the Internet has a lot of good information. It also has a lot of poor information and false promises, so you may want to check with your parent or another trusted adult about what you find.
  • Your parent's hospital or clinic
    Visit the patient education office at your parent's hospital, if there is one. Or, ask if you can go with your parent during their visit to the doctor - to learn more.

Helpis a phone call or web site away

Find more organizations:

Visit and type “national organizations” into the search box. You will find a list of National Organizations That Offer Cancer-Related Services. These organizations provide emotional, financial, and/or informational support to people with cancer and their families. Or call 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237) to learn more.

Here are some places to contact for help. You can call them or visit their Web site for more information.

National Cancer Institute (NCI) 
NCI has up-to-date, accurate information for you and your family. Get answers to your questions and learn more by calling us, visiting our Web site, or ordering our publications. We provide information in both English and Spanish on types of cancer, treatment, clinical trials, supportive care, complementary and alternative medicine, as well as on screening, prevention, and genetics. You will also find a dictionary of cancer terms, and a drug dictionary, on our site. We are a federal government agency that is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Web and
Online Chat
Phone 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237)
Publications or call 1-800-4-CANCER

American Cancer Society (ACS) 
ACS is a nationwide, community-based voluntary health organization. ACS offers a variety of services and programs for patients and their families. ACS also supports research, provides printed materials, and conducts educational programs. Staff can accept calls and distribute publications in Spanish.
Phone 1-800-ACS-2345 (1-800-227-2345)
TTY 1-866-228-4327

American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 
ASCO has oncologist-approved cancer information to help patients and families make informed health care decisions. ASCO’s site also has podcasts and videos for patients and family members. The site also includes a section on camps and retreats for families and children touched by cancer.

Cancer Support Community (CSC)
The Cancer Support Community (CSC) was formed by the merger of Gilda’s Club Worldwide and The Wellness Community. CSC is an international non-profit organization that has a network of personalized services and education for all people affected by cancer. Its free programs include support groups, counseling,
education, and healthy lifestyle initiatives. These support services are available online and through local affiliates.
Phone 1-888-793-WELL (1-888-793-9355)

CancerCare provides free professional support services and publications to anyone affected by cancer, including the patient’s children and loved ones. Services include counseling and support groups, education, financial assistance, and practical help. CancerCare also accepts calls and distributes publications in Spanish. Limited grants are available to eligible families for cancer-related costs like transportation and childcare.
Phone 1-800-813-HOPE (1-800-813-4673)