All about cancer

Finding out that you, a friend or someone you know has cancer might make you worry and you may have many questions. This section contains information and advice about how cancer affects children, to help you understand what's happening.

All about cancer

What is cancer?

Our bodies are made up of lots of cells, which make the things we need such as blood, muscle and bone. Cancer happens when some of our cells stop working properly. 

It's very unusual for children to get cancer, and doctors don't know what causes it. It's a serious illness but doctors are really good at helping children get better from it. 

Children with cancer need to go to hospital for treatment, and need time to recover at home. This means they will be off school, sometimes for a short time and sometimes for a long time.

Everyone with cancer reacts differently to treatment, but most children get better.

Find out more

If you want to know more about a specific type of cancer and how it is treated, you can look at our pages about different types of cancer.

How cancer affects you

We also have lots of information and guidance about how cancer affects different parts of your life. You can read about topics including school, friends and family, here. 


You could also read our storybooks for children or ask a parent or carer to read our factsheet with you called friends of children with cancer.

Last reviewed: September 2015
Next planned review: 2018