When a child is diagnosed with cancer, it affects everyone in the family. Brothers and sisters may react in many different ways as they adjust to all the changes that cancer brings.
There are ways to support siblings as they adjust to having a brother or sister with cancer.
While most siblings cope well, sometimes having a brother or sister with cancer can be very difficult. In those cases, it might be helpful for siblings to talk with a mental health care provider about how they are doing. Signs that a sibling is having an especially hard time and could use extra support include:
Psychologists and other mental health providers are available to help siblings cope with having a brother or sister with cancer. Children’s National has a team of psychologists that work specifically with oncology patients and families, as well as other dedicated resources for families.
Some other helpful resources for siblings can be found at the following sites:
Siblings and Cancer
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