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.

How do I find out more?

There are lots of different types of cancer and you might have lots of questions what one type means, like why people get it and how to make it better.

Read more about the different types and what they mean.

Will cancer change my life?

Getting an illness like cancer means that things will be a bit different for a while. Children who have cancer might need to take a break from school or not do certain hobbies while they are having treatment. The people looking after you will try to help you carry on as normally as possible though.

Read more about things like school, family, friends and staying healthy.

What do all these big words mean?

You might hear doctors and people in the hospital talk about long, confusing words. It might even feel like they are speaking a different language sometimes!

Our A-Z list will let you know what some of the words you might hear a lot mean. 

Updated April 2018, next review due 2021.