Advice for siblings

You may be feeling a lot of different emotions on finding out your brother or sister has been diagnosed with cancer. It is normal to feel angry, confused, afraid or numb. You are not alone in feeling this way. It is important to deal with these feelings, here are some ways to help cope with your emotions:

  • Talk with your friends and family
  • Write down how you feel (journal or diary)
  • Write down any questions you have and ask the hospital staff
  • Join a support group or organisation
  • Learning some facts about your brother/sister’s condition (most people will feel better if they know what to expect – read our page on Types of cancer and Patient stories)

Some things to remember:

  • Some treatments will reduce your brother or sister’s immunity to infection, so washing your hands is imperative
  • Tell your parent/guardian when you have been in contact with someone who is ill
  • Stay away from your brother or sister if you get sick
  • If your sibling is being treated far from home, make sure you stay in touch regularly

Practical and Emotional help for you:

  • Talking things through (with parents, family, friends)
  • Help with schoolwork/college work from teachers & tutors
  • Family & friends may make meals and run errands for you and your family
  • Spend time with your friends
  • Stay involved in your sports, hobbies and interests
  • Eat and drink well

For more help and advice go to Teenage Cancer Trust advice page.