Your siblings

Following your diagnosis and during treatment, the relationship you have with your brothers and sisters may develop and change.


Your siblings may be a vital source of support to you or they may react in an unexpected way and start to behave out of character. They are probably experiencing some strong feelings and their behaviour could be for a number of reasons. They might fear that they will get cancer too, are worried you won't get better or feel left out from what's going on.

Whatever your sibling's reaction is, try not to worry. Young people have told us that however their siblings behaved when they were ill, their relationship with them returned to normal pretty soon after they got better.

When I was diagnosed my brother became very quiet but it wasn't long until he was back to being his aggravating self again.

Who can support my siblings?

It's important your brothers or sisters have someone they can talk to about how they're feeling about your illness. They may be able to do this with you, your parents, their partner or friends, teachers or support services at college or university, depending on their age.

Sometimes, though, it may be helpful for them to speak to a care professional about how they're feeling. You could ask a member of your care team to talk to them, or they may suggest someone else who could help.

This website also features age-appropriate information about cancer and treatment for children and young people which your siblings might find helpful.

Content last reviewed: November 2015
Next planned review: 2016