Q. I'm looking for support for my teenage son to help him deal with his sister's cancer. Can you recommend any specific places?

A.

For most teenagers, cancer is about the last thing they expect to deal with during a time of life that may already be challenging. Adolescence can often be a struggle over figuring out who you are and what you believe. Teens tend to be focused on their peer relationships and want to “fit in,” and often look to other teens who are similar to them for guidance.

Having a sibling with cancer can make a teen feel different than his or her friends, which can lead to feelings of sadness and loneliness. Teens often struggle to understand what a cancer diagnosis means, how it will affect their own lives, and what will happen to them. Not being able to talk with friends going through something similar might leave them feeling scared and overwhelmed.

Check with a social worker at the hospital or treatment center where your daughter is receiving treatment to find out about any support programs specifically for siblings that might be offered there or by local organizations.

SuperSibs! provides support services, including camps and care packages.

Lastly, I’d suggest reading our booklet, Helping Children When a Family Member Has Cancer.