The Books Can Be Read Alone or Together

The Books Can Be Read Alone or Together

Bupa have launched a series of support booklets that aim to help children when someone close to them has cancer.

It’s hard enough to tell adults that you’re suffering from cancer, let alone your children, but Child psychologist Professor Tanya Byron insists we must do it.

She says, “When we as adults receive information that is devastating to deal with, it's almost harder to tell our children than it is to hear it ourselves. But research has shown that by not talking at all, in order to avoid the painful truth, many parents may be causing excessive levels of anxiety for their children when there are simple steps to manage this.”

The series of booklets are named ‘I Know Someone With Cancer’ and are aimed at children ages 7-11. They are designed to help children understand exactly what cancer is and gives them ideas to help deal with their feelings, as well as little things they can do to help their families.

Professor Byron says, “Up until now there has been little advice available to help with this problem, which is why these new booklets, available now, are such an important initiative.”

Dr Katrina Herren, medical director, Bupa Health and Wellbeing, says, “It can be very confusing and frightening for a child to find out someone they love is ill with cancer. We have set out to create something that children can understand and read in their own time and share with their friends and family.”

This cause has attracted many advocates, including actor Stephen Mangan who has personally been affected by cancer and has two children of his own.

He says, “My family has been affected by cancer and I've seen how hard it is to talk about the illness with loved ones. Now I have two young children I have wondered what I would do in that situation. These booklets are a wonderful tool to help with a very difficult conversation, to help children understand what the adult with cancer is going through and how to cope with their feelings about it.”

The booklets are free and available to all and have been developed through consultation with children and the advice of specialists, including Bupa's cancer experts.

You can download the books from


Cara Mason

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