Why do we need to teach children about cancer?
Cancer is a big subject. It’s one that we all need to understand and talk about; this includes adults and children. Children need to be given both the information to understand cancer and the opportunity to discuss it.
Current statistics show that 1 in 2 people born in the UK after 1960 will be diagnosed with some form of cancer during their lifetime (Cancer Research UK, February 2016). This means that more children are likely to be affected by cancer within their own families and communities.
The fact that cancer gets widespread media coverage when there is no formal education about the disease means children can have increased anxiety about what cancer is, why people get it, how it can be prevented, and the outcomes for anyone they know living with cancer.
Children are curious about cancer and they don’t have the same fears as adults. They want to learn about cancer, and welcome the opportunity to talk about their own experiences when cancer has affected them.